Saturday, 24 August 2013

Way Forward FCT?



In the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, word has it that the city has since become a shadow of what it was six years ago… Mallam Nasir El-Rufai seems to be the best thing that happened to Abuja as there was sanity in this city while he was in power. What do you think?

Street beggars and hawkers – Driving on the roads, one has to be extremely attentive these days as beggars and hawkers are everywhere on the streets. At any traffic light, once the red light stops you, they all appear. Sad part is, hand bags and mobile phones could get missing if you have your car doors unlocked or windows down without paying attention. Once upon a time, these people would not dare show up on the streets as there were laws to ensure that such people were never around town.


Traffic and street lights– Getting from point A to point B gets increasingly difficult. Apart from no respect for traffic laws and the horrible driving, the number of people who are in Abuja today has steadily risen notably around the outskirts of Abuja…Rent in the heart of town is somewhat extortionate, not many make enough to afford the ridiculous prices...Especially because not all these places match the amount paid in terms of services so people are forced to go further out. 
On the other hand, the infrastructure serving these outskirts is not sufficient for the number of people who live around there. There are three main entry points into Abuja and everyone seems to be on these roads at the same time. The peak hours are never fun on the roads; lanes are not maintained so a road that has three lanes is automatically converted into five lanes. Fumes from exhausts fill the air, angry drivers hurl insults at each other and all sort of drama unfolds. At night, the roads are poorly lit or not lit at all as street lights have become seasonal. Some parts of town have never had functional street lights.

The airport road serves those from Lugbe, Kuje, Gwagwalada while Deidei/Kubwa axis serves for people commuting from as far as Niger state every day. Despite this, road blocks are mounted and people are made to suffer avoidable delays and spend much more time on the road.
The Nyanya/Mararaba axis has been the worse hit by everything that should not be! Recently, with no warning, some plastic lane dividers filled with sand were put on the road. My guess would be that a lane ‘is meant’ to be dedicated to buses, please correct me if I’m wrong… However, there have been no indications and at night, the roads are not properly lit so these make shift dividers have been constantly run into by drivers. Some are broken and litter the roads but have not been removed.
Already on the road and all broken
But a whole lot more are waiting to be put on the road....I wonder where!


IMHO, whoever sold this idea to the government just needed to make some fast money, they are totally unnecessary! I have to add that this part of town has not received much attention but on the other hand, it is the largest serving area for accommodation. The roads are narrower than the other entry points but made even narrower by the road side Nyanya market and the Nyanya bus stop! This is the major cause of traffic as buses stop indiscriminately to pick or drop off passengers + numerous shacks are erected to serve as a market. A few meters away, road blocks/check points get mounted from time to time by policemen or soldiers. A few days back, this was done after the announcement of Abubakar Shekau’s death for two days! Unjustifiable knee jerk reaction as always! I wonder, is the body expected to be brought into or taken out of Abuja? 

It has been a cycle, road blocks/check points at the border of Abuja and Nasarawa State have been mounted many times after an announcement of a threat…
At this evening time, everyone is trying to get home but frustrated from the journey. Once past the market and the road blocks/check points, the roads are free, but as long as three hours can be spent on this road (depending on what time you get on it). This entire journey that is made extremely difficult is normally a fifteen minute drive!

In the mornings, the road blocks are notably absent but every other thing present so getting past this road could take up to forty minutes. If an accident occurs, imagine what happens! And these individuals are meant to be productive at work?
The traffic situation calls for serious attention. Stark raving madness will soon become the result of this building frustration.
The Federal Government never thought and still are not thinking to decentralize the Ministries and Agencies such that they would be spread across the different area councils. Everything is concentrated in AMAC so all the workers are on the road at the same time everyday heading in the same direction.

Waste – Another major concern in the FCT is the amount of waste littered all over. The smells are slowly becoming unbearable. This I have written about in a previous post, click here to read.
This topic also featured in Daily Trust Newspaper this week with this caption ""Nigeria's inability to deliver on environment projects in Abuja".

What is the way forward Nigeria?

8 comments:

  1. You are on point Ene.Judging with the daily occurance,our govt hardly or can i say doesn't put the safety of her citizen into consideration.The traffic alone is frustrating as abuja is becoming over populated.Another problem is the insufficient power supply in some specific area of abuja and a lot more.The way forward as far as a̶̲̥̅♏ concern is a good governance.Happy weekend.

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    1. This good governance we speak about starts with each one of you know...With waste, we have a role to play by not littering the streets. In the same we have to drive responsibly. Thank you for reading Agnes.

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  2. Thank you for this piece Ene, I couldn't agree more. It is almost a nightmare driving through town these days! If one is not infuriated by impatient drivers who have absolutely no regard for traffic rules, then the harassment you endure from steet hawkers and beggars will surely do the trick. What about safety and security? The increase in crime rate these days is very alarming! As individuals, we owe it to ourselves and the state to carry out our civic responsibilities and obey the law, but then what about all the various agencies and parastatals we have to regulate waste and traffic? They need to step up their game too! Once upon a time, under the governance of a certain FCT minister, the country's capital was an ideal/model city. Sadly, all efforts have cone undone by the lack of continuity, putting out the fire and turning our beloved capital into what we see today..
    Efua

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    1. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts Efua.

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  3. Wonderful observation and I total agree with you. The F.C.T adminstration should as matter of urgency look into this issues.Henry .O

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  4. Good piece. To add to the increasing exorbitant rent, the senate are in the process of introducing property tax which will definitely lead to increase in the already high rent and when one of the senators tried to dissuade them from going on withe the bill the senate president said only the rich should stay in Abuja metropolis. For all these to change we need somebody that will take drastic measure more than what El Rufai did in his time

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    1. If the Senate President said that, it is a shame! Drastic measures and a new and far thinking FCT Minister are welcome.
      Thank you for stopping by.

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