By Tajuddeen Ahmad Tijjani
The increasing traffic gridlock in Abuja is simply nerve-wracking. A journey that, in normal circumstances, would have taken 30 minutes takes more than an hour now. This has not only caused daily waste of precious man-hours but has also inflicted enormous pain on commuters who have to contend with extra costs at this challenging time of a shrinking economy. It’s not a changing time for Nigeria to borrow a leaf from the developed world. We should not continue suffering since there are long-term and short-term solutions.
To be specific, here are some notable spots where heavy traffic snarls are a constant feature, which unfortunately affects the well-being of the people. They include Mararaba-Nyanya Bus Stop; AYA Roundabout along the Abuja-Keffi corridor; Madala-Zuba-Kubwa-Gwarinpa-Aso Radio Junction, along the Abuja-Kaduna corridor; and Girri Junction-Alaita-City Gate, along the Abuja-Gwagwalada corridor. Indeed, a lot of concern was raised about these notorious traffic hubs. And I can’t believe it if someone tells me the FCT administration is not aware of this development.
To be fair to the FCT minister, he’s trying, though his best is not enough. It’s gruesomely inadequate. We must come to terms with the fact that we’re in the 21st century and that new technology should be put in place to reduce the long-suffering of commuters. The axes mentioned above need to be expanded to accommodate the daily traffic volume.
I’d be willing to bet my bottom dollar that if the FCT administration built “railroad tracks” from end to end of the city, beyond a shadow of a doubt, this unbearable traffic jam would disappear in no time. Both the income and the revenue generation will increase. An uncountable number of commuters will drop their vehicles.
The transportation system will give cheerful colour, beautify the city, and compete with global best practices. Can’t we do these for the benefit of all? But, someone might decide to ask, where should we get the funds? Yes, there it is. Invite investors and strike a Public-Private Partnership. I believe we can do it. Building, operating, and transferring is one of the surest ways of getting it done.
I urge the FCT administration to look inward and try railway tracks in the city. For instance, the same should be in place in other axes from Zuba to Dey Dey, Kubwa, Dutsen Alhaji Junction, Gwarimpa, Maitama to Mararraba, etc. It would be a life-changing event for both the government and the people. Indeed, this will enhance internally generated revenue and increase work productivity. It will be a win-win for the country.
Tajuddeen Ahmad Tijjani writes from Abuja. And can also be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.