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Abuja And The Poor State Of Public Transport System


Non-car owners have been facing difficulties moving in and around Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria, Mojire Agbetunsin reports

In a typical society, there will always be an issue of class. Not everyone will be wealthy, some will just be average and others will be poor. In most societies especially in the developing nations, there will be people that placed more priority in owning private cars. This, it is observed, will enable them move around with their families.

For some people, even though they can afford a car for a family, they tend to place less priority on it because of the effective transport system they have in their society.

Other families that can’t afford one car have to resort to the public transport system.

On the other hand, there is always a need to move around. There are places people can’t just walk to even if they have the strength to do so.

For people who don’t have cars, for them to travel, the only option will be to use public transportation at a given price.

LEADERSHIP Weekend reports that many societies have the goal of bridging the gap between the poor and the rich but no matter how hard they work to achieve that goal, low income earners may face some challenges.

Experts say in other to assuage the sufferings of citizens that must travel from one place to another, effective public transport scheme will be the easiest ways to make life meaningful to the populace.

Just like inadequate health system, lack of proper social amenities, access to and affordability of public transportation is a big issue in Abuja, the Nigeria’s federal capital.

With the influx of people on a daily basis into the Nigeria’s capital city, working class people and many children have being finding it difficult to transport themselves to places off work and schools

Speaking to LEADERSHIP weekend on the poor state of public transport system in Abuja, a woman who works as a house help narrated gloomy experiences she have faced.

The mother of four said most of the vehicles use for public transportation are bad adding that the few ones available and very unsafe.

“If at all i decide to take a taxi, it is always incredibly expensive,” she said.

“It is so difficult getting to work every morning as the commercial vehicles are not enough and the taxis that are always available are very expensive to ride in,” she lamented.

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) banned the use of buses as a means of transportation in Abuja city centres.

The decision banning the use of buses for commercial purposes in Abuja without effective means of public transportation has thrown many residents into an untold hardship.

The government owned commercial vehicles have been channelled to Nnanya- Masaka, Kubwa- Suleja and the Gwagwalada routes while other citizens living in different axis including those within the city centre are left with the challenge of in adequate transport system.

In most cases, these residents have to pay high to get taxis, it was gathered.

“Sometimes i get late to work because I spend quiet a number of times waiting for the next available commercial vehicle,” said Mary Jonathan.

“The challenge I am facing is the destinations of these buses. They mostly go to about three different routes which makes it very difficult for us here,” a resident in life camp, Musa Bala said.

Even though the government said it is doing a lot aim at improving the public transport system, many residents are complaining and hoping the government will do more about the issue of poor transportation system in the FCT.

“There is the need for more commercial buses and cars to go to different routes. There should be visible bus stops for these vehicles. There should be a very understandable bus schedule and that should be made available for people who will be using the public transport services,” said a transport expert, Emmanuel Kazah.

According to Kazah, there should be a limit to the amount of persons a commercial vehicle should carry.

“I am always surprise seeing people struggling to board vehicles in Abuja. We need a standard planning strategy that will help in reducing the hardship people face in Abuja. I’ve gone through many cities of the world that have more population than Abuja but you can find the terrible situation such as this one in Abuja.

They succeed because they plan ahead. We must plan ahead of the population. It should be a public private partnership if we must get it right. Government must encourage the citizens with soft loans to go into commercial transport business. This will ease the difficulties many people face,” said a transport expert, Adewale Akan

“Transportation is important to the productivity of every city and we deserve to have a safe and comfortable transport system here in Abuja. We don’t have to pay through our noses just to get to where we want to go,” said an Abuja resident who doesn’t want her name mentioned. Leadership report.

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