Dyepkazah Shibayan and Kingsley Madaki
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) recently witnessed the installation of over 70 new traffic lights by a Chinese Company within the city, a project awarded by the Bala Mohammad led administration has come under heavy criticisms by residents.
Some of the concerns raised by residents was that the rushing of the project and installing these additional traffic lights may not stand the test of time due to the quality of the work done.
Observations have shown that the large concentration of these traffic lights are situated at Jabi, Utako, Kado, Gwarimpa and Kubwa as well as places in Maitama, Asokoro and Wuse Districts.
In some of the areas where these lights have been installed, most motorists are finding it difficult to enjoy a three to four minutes smooth drive due to increased vehicular movements in and around the city.
Residents and motorists who spoke to The Union on the situation did not only express their misgivings over the timing for the fixing of traffic control facilities in the territory but raised concerns on the confusing nature of the newly installed traffic lights.
They queried why the outgoing minister would embark on the traffic light installation project at this time of the rainy season, especially as the solar traffic lights would be powered by sun.
However, this has led to many motorists violating these traffic lights due to having to wait long at several points before they reach their destination.
A resident simply identified as Daniel said, “these new traffic lights are confusing, one would have to get used to it. “It is making driving in the city very stressful, I just think the traffic lights are too much”.
Sam Garba, a motorist said that the FCT administration only need to balance it’s books before the new administration takes over.
According to him, the administration should not only replace knocked down street lights but also replace road signs which would ensure the safety and security of anyone driving through the city.
Rafiat Abdul lauded the project but said that the lights are too many.
“I think it is a good thing, but I have noticed that after driving less than five blocks you meet another traffic light which makes driving now in the city difficult.
She said that there are other very important infrastructures where the administration can channel it’s resources to, adding that if they can do some other meaningful attempts on other infrastructure like roads and providing water, the outgoing administration would at least be remembered by something.
Emmanuel Akande said the energy channelled in fixing new traffic lights, would have been better used in the rehabilitation of old and damaged ones, which had stopped functioning for years.
“I believed that the project was deliberately delayed to serve as a conduit for siphoning fund from the public treasury, because it would have taken the FCTA and its partners another couple of years to completely execute it, if the Peoples Democratic Party had won the election.
“But, of course as God would have it their party lost out, and were forced to hurriedly execute the project, in order to retire the money appropriated for it,” he stressed.