Nigeria as we know is termed the giant of Africa and as such should appear as one, but the reverse is the case. In terms of the road network, Nigeria is ranking one of the worst among all the neighboring countries. Poor funding and maintenance are major contributors to this problem.
You can hardly go a mile without seeing numerous potholes. This has contributed immensely to the high rate of accidents we encounter on Nigerian roads. Despite the $1billion allocation for repairing transport infrastructure planned by the Nigerian government in 2010, we have not seen any reasonable change on the Nigerian road network and this has added to high transport costs, as motorists find it hard to access some major business areas.
Apart from the issue of bad roads, it has also been noticed that the Nigerian Road Network lacks the use of road signs, traffic lights etc.
Overloaded vehicles are another major contributor of the bad roads we have in Nigeria, as some of the roads were not built to withstand such weights. Another contributing factor to the bad roads we have in Nigeria is that the contractors who were awarded the contracts sometimes construct bad roads and embezzle the rest of the money for their own selfish desires.
All this and many more reasons are the cause of the problems we face on Nigerian roads and must be put to a halt before it gets out of hand.
In the FCT for instance, hinterland roads are bad. They are really bad that one wonders whether it is really the Federal Capital Territory.
A traditional ruler Lawan Duada, shared how they tried in the past to do something in their own little way, but could not achieve anything remarkable owing to lack of resources. He said the road to his community in Jiwa a suburb in the FCT was the only road in the city when FCT was created in 1976 and it beats his imagination that the road that developed the capital city everybody is enjoying now could be left to deteriorate to this extent.
“The road as it is now is giving us concern. We have even tried to do something with our lean resources but to no avail since most people living here are low income earners or struggling population that goes to city everyday in search of livelihood. When FCT was created in 1976, this is the only road in the territory then. So, this is the road that built this capital city all of us are now enjoying,” he lamented.
An Okada Rider, Sabir Umar, who spoke in Hausa, hinted that most of his colleagues are even planning to relocate to another community to pursue their trade due to the dangers posed by the road to the riders, their cyclists and passengers as well.
“As am talking to you now, most of them have relocated to other places as there is no sense working and using the proceeds to repair the motorbike. We are just working for the mechanics, because we must visit them at the end of day to repair the damages caused by the bad state of the road”.
“I am not happy with the situation. It has led to traffic jam making it impossible for free flow of traffic. Even if I wash the Motorcycle, it must be dirty again which means you will keep on washing it till you close for the day as nobody will patronise a dirty bike,” he said.
The question therefore is, don’t residents living outside the opulence of Abuja’s city centre deserve some good roads as well?
Photo Credit: scannewsnigeria.com