TRANSPORTATION FOR ABUJA NIGERIA CAPITAL.
Abubakar Adamu, MSc, MCILT
England , UK
I write this article to congratulate the new FCT Minister, Dr. Aliyu Modibbo on his new job and his desire to serve our nation to the best of his ability. The news report in the Daily Triumph newspaper (online) of the minister mission for Abuja to carve its own niche is a very welcome pronouncement and right up my street as a Transport Logistician.
The Minister listed some of his vision, which include the use, and application of professionals in abundance in the federal capital. He wants Abuja to be home of banking, medicine, and more than 80% of residents of Abuja are educated, thus need modern and sophisticated means of transport and communication. What did not appear in the press release is the importance of transport and distribution in Abuja.
Transport is generally described as; the means by which people move from one place to another for social or business engagements and or goods are moved from source of production to the final consumer. The transport professionals also claim that social interaction will not take place unless there is a means of getting to the venue of activity or goods will have no economic value until it is moved to the market place.
There are mass movements of about 5,000,000 people (2005 est., ngex.com) and distributions in Abuja as the seat of country’s capital. The hustle and bustle of trading and politics are drags for the mass movements, which will require, development of a long-term transport strategy by provision of adequate public and private partnership transport system. Abuja at the moment runs a chaotic transport system; there is no comprehensive transport-planning programme. There must be a specific development programme for Abuja, which must take into account, how to plan and manage mass movement of people in and out of Abuja and goods distribution network to and from market.
I may be among very few Nigerians who still fervently believe that the second coming (1999 – 2007) of General Olusegun Obasanjo as Nigeria President was a good thing. He was not perfect but did his best for Nigeria under the circumstances, of Nigeria everlasting crises of leadership and social and economy management. Abuja as the Nigeria capital was the birth child and dream of General Murtala Mohammed government (1975 – 1976) Obasanjo was part of that government and became Head of State (1976 – 1979) after Murtala was killed. General Ibrahim Babangida (1985 – 1993) and his government accelerated the Abuja project, which many political merry-go-round singers and commentators are failing to give him credit of, as a big achievement of any administration after the first republic. One of the projects visibly implemented is moving from Lagos to Abuja, yet people are sneering at IBB achievements.
Equally, Obasanjo brought standard and enthusiasm in governance. With people like the EFCC boss, Nuhu Ribadu; Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, our efficient former Minister of Finance; Professor Dora Akunyili of NAFDAC, who I adore as my second “Mother” if she is my mother’s age or “Sister”; Mallam Nasir el-Rufai former FCT minister and others, who set a benchmark for public service. If Obasanjo has not achieved anything but having those people as example of good Nigerians and dedicated public servants that is good enough for me and I praise Obansanjo. I keep on repeating, no one Nigerian can make Nigeria better but all Nigerians. It is very easy to blame our leaders and Nigerians are in love with gossiping and loose talk. Each and every Nigerian must look at his or her own part in making Nigeria a great Country putting those out of dates tribal and religious differences aside.
Those idiots and fools who do not want to change and still believe in old ways of behaviour and corruption, we applaud Ribadu for terrorising them. To those thieving governors before the Courts and others, they seem not to have the intelligence and understanding of the effects of their actions. Nigeria is in bad social and economic state, partly because they stole money meant to help our development. For every kobo that those guys stole a Nigerian child will miss his/her education and schooling, there will be sickness and death because no medicine is bought or hospital built for health care, accidents and death on our highways because funds meant for road development and maintenance are stolen, people struggling to have the basic food as result of failure to educate and implement agricultural programme.
I will feel very disappointed with Chief Orji Kalu of Abia State, to be on the platform of former corrupt governors if the allegations against him were true. I had high hope and regards though my friends warned me, on my commitment to Orji Kalu project, because they thought he was just a smooth-talking kind of guy. I did believe Orji Kalu had potential for Nigerian leadership. An emerging young Man who I thought has understanding of Nigeria’s problems and a man who will break the cycle of the so-called marginalisation of Ndiigbo in Nigeria politics. Was it all hot air and in my dreams?
FCT Minister, Dr. Aliyu Modibbo, needs our prayers and best wishes for his dream and vision for Abuja. As the minister has noted 80% of Abuja residents are educated. He should pick teams of professionals and dedicated people to help him build and maintain the Abuja Master-Plan and actualised his dream and legacy.
God bless Nigeria.
AbubakarAdamu, hold BSc in Transport & Politics, MSc International Logistics and works for Virgin Trains UK and a Freelance Researcher.