Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, has blamed ethnicity for the slow pace of development in Nigeria.
Amaechi, in a statement on Friday, disclosed that rail projects around Nigeria were built for the growth of the country’s economy rather than ethnic biases.
The former Rivers State Governor identified what he called politicising of railway development as one of the main challenges hindering the government’s effort to stimulate the economy.
The minister, who was speaking as a guest lecturer at the Annual Public Lecture of the Department of Economics at the University of Lagos, noted that transportation as a model involved logistics.
Ameachi added that transportation is responsible for driving the economies of nations; virtually everything we do involves transportation.
He said, ”It’s a key element in driving the development of economies all over the world and it creates possibilities for other sectors; therefore, you cannot even create employment if you don’t create logistics.
“Nigerians are too ethnically conscious. You think first of your ethnicity before you think as a Nigerian.
”Ethnicity is putting pressure on the economics of railway construction. What you hear is, ‘I am a Yoruba man, I am a Hausa man, I am an Igbo man.”
“Railway is fuelled by economic activities, it is not fuelled by tribes.
“Ethnicity isn’t the way to go. Those who fan the embers of ethnicity are those who were benefitting from the government in the past, but are no longer benefitting from the government.”