Erkundungsstollen Aicha Mai 2012

The Nigerian  Minister of Transportation has expressed the country’s readiness to adopt tunnel transport technology and underground space utilization.

This  information was communicated by the Director of Road and Mass transport, Dr. Anthonia  Ekpa during a three-day 2nd Annual International Conference on Tunneling and  Underground Space, organized by the Tunneling Association of Nigeria (TAN) in  Abuja, themed: “Exploring the socioeconomic benefits of developing tunneling  and underground space infrastructure in Nigeria”.

According to  Dr. Ekpa, the Minister has also approved for the inclusion of tunneling  engineering in the academic curriculum of the Nigerian Institute for Transport  Technology, Zaria.

In respect  to the foregoing, the minister is also ready guide the ministry’s partnership with  the organization in realizing its objectives. “In order for the country to  fully embrace tunneling technology, the Nigerian Institute for Transport  Technology has to consider research into the technology in addition to  including it into the curriculum,” he said.

“Similarly,  I urge TAN along with ITA to promote capacity building programmes in tunnel  engineering and use underground space for railways and other forms of  transportation. There is also the need to deploy appropriate communication  channels to enlighten Nigerians and gain support for tunneling”, he explained.

Present at  the conference was the President of TAN, Mr. Abidemi Agwor, who said that Nigeria  is set to experience a boost in its urban infrastructure if tunneling with  underground space is adopted as a national policy.

One of the  ways which he mentioned includes, the use of tunnels in especially densely  populated cities like Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano in addressing transport,  water, sewage, telecommunication, power and other socioeconomic sectors of the  nation.

He therefore  encouraged stakeholders to foster the adoption of tunneling in Nigeria, “I urge  stakeholders to support the adoption of tunneling as a major development policy  towards Nigeria’s infusion of the new engineering concept into its development.