Transport Peace (1)

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How peaceful is the transport system in your country? The answer will vary from country to country. In my country Nigeria, there is really no transport peace, especially in road transport. You doubt me; if you can, please ask those who travel to various destinations during the  Sallah, Christmas and New Year celebrations. You must  hear accounts of terrible  traffic jams,  road accidents and deaths  in intercity roads despite the efforts of the Federal Road Safety Commission to maintain peace on the highways.

The stress arising from out transport system is simply not measurable. Peace has left that sector and we want it to return.

Chaos is ruling that sector now and it is adversely affecting the lives and peace of Nigerians. Our Observation is that people are traveling very fast these days. The tempo of mobility is going on at dizzying speed on land and air. Why are people traveling this fast? Where are they rushing to? Why the mad rush on highways inNigeria? If you want a good account for a transport project inNigeria, please follow this brief in making your demand.

 

Issues to consider

Do not ramble, but give us a good report about how people are moving. Less figures, more insights please. Do not only tell us, show us.. Discuss the rail, road, sea and air transport and highlight the investment potentials in the transport sector that can be profitably tapped in ways that can reduce the chaos and fast tempo of movement.

Do not over emphasise a particular transport sector. Give all of them equal attention; dissect the problems, trace developments over the years, relate how the fast tempo is affecting lifestyles, do a comparative analysis, draw parallels from a few foreign countries, then prepare an agenda-setting report that has universal application.

Do not to dwell too much on the past. Simply trace the build-up to our fast tempo today, and do not forget to make recommendations. The issue is not just that we are traveling very fast. There are matters arising. Where are we rushing to? Is the world getting smaller? Are the 24 hours each day and night no longer enough? Where is there no peace in our transport sector? Why is it so chaotic? These are challenges that demand solutions from all of us to bring peace in this vibrant economic sector.

Take these hints and observations from us. Do not concentrate on Lagos, the commercial nerve centre, or Abuja, the nation’s capital or the oil city of Port Harcourt(PH). Study from the northern city of Sokotonear the Sahara desert, to Calabar in the south near the Atlantic ocean.

Do not depend so much on  research data. Do an original study. Examine Nigeria’s airports. Some of them are international airports. Find out how international they are. Check out the functionality of the Instrument Landing and other facilities there. Do not forget maintenance and safety of the airports.

Move on to the cities during the rush hours. It is a bedlam.. People rush and get stuck in the traffic. No movement. In Lagos metropolis alone, more than $500 million is lost annually to traffic jams. Where is the peace?

To make your work easy, these are the signposts to look out for. Traffic jams, ports congestion, electric power cuts, dilapidated roads and the boom in executive travel between the city trinity of Lagos-Abuja-PH. These three cities command the greatest pull for professionals and corporate executives as they chase top government functionaries and chief executives of oil companies for contracts and jobs.

There is more

There used to be the odd-even number car travel rule on Lagos roads. Night travel in luxurious buses is booming though there are hazards. Some factors are responsible for this. Air travel is going beyond the reach of many professionals. They want to want save on hotel costs. So what do they do? They board a 52-seater luxury bus at 9pm and arrive at their destinations 5am following morning. Some of the bus companies offer business class services complete with air conditioning, on-board catering services, toilet facilities and in-flight entertainment.” Some peace, you may say.

But night travel by bus is now risky in Nigeria. The hazards are many. Robbers are on the rampage. But luxurious bus operators are doing roaring business. There is big demand for their services. Travellers want to save on cost and time. It is as if they are moving to different time zones. Plenty of road hazards. Many reported cases of accidents, buses plunging into rivers at night, many passengers die. Do not forget to factor in safety against the background of rising wave of armed robbery. There is no stopping the luxurious buses and passengers. For safety, every night bus carries two armed escorts, soldiers in mufti, armed with automatic guns. Going faster…where are we rushing to?

In Part 2 of this brief, we shall highlight the state of highways, seaports, regulation and crime. Please tell us in 500 words, stories of your experiences on the fast tempo of today’s travel in Nigeria.


Eric Okeke is a storyteller, editor, business writer, motivational speaker and author of the best selling book: I Want a Husband. He is one of Nigeria’s most experienced financial journalists. He has published several articles in local and foreign publications and in websites such as http://www.ezinearticles.com, www.ezinearticles.com and www.writingcareer.com. He is currently running Infomedia Company, a media consulting and information marketing company. Visit his blog at http://sallywantsahusband.blogspot.com

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