Traveling by road around Nigeria is not a nice experience, actually, it is a horrible experience. I travel about 4,000 km average every month and come across the same things day after day, sometimes, it feels like groundhog day in hell.
What can be done to improve the experience, see my top ten suggestions
- Provide signs on the road
Sounds easy right, but even with a GPS and paper map, a simple sign pointing out the name of a town or road works wonders to make the journey less stressful.
Especially at night when landmarks and you wonder if that last junction was Mokwa or Molete.
So, Local Government Officials and Ministry of Works folks, go out there and label your towns and roads
- Provide Truck Stops
When you are stuck in a one-hour slow traffic and find out 500m later it was trucks trying to park, you will really appreciate the need for truck stops. Get a place for trucks to park and do whatever trucks need to do to.
Auchi and Ogere seem to have sorted this out. Worth applying across other truck stops ?
- Remove the police from the road
Safer Highways Police Patrol Van
Get the police delays off the roads. Return the HighWay patrol division to what their name implies and stop them from staying in one place and delaying vehicles as their primary and only job.
Bring back police checkpoints that actually act as checkpoints not alms seeking stops
- Remove Federal Road Safety Commission from the roads
The country will make more money if you stop the FRSC from being on the road even if you pay the present staff just to stay at home. All the FRSC folks do now, is to stop and collect payment from overloaded trucks, buses and similar and peep at vehicle trunks for fire extinguishers and read the entrails on tires to determine production date.
Their primary job is to find faults, and collect money on the spot then repeat.
- Remove Touts
Vehicle Papers for Ogun State alone
Lots of states have government sanctioned touts
on the highways, armed with long sticks, cutlasses and in some cases (Edo State), guns. They check for all sorts of papers from TV license to Environmental Permits and stuff you have never heard of. Their usual targets are commercial vehicles trucks, but on Fridays, they may extend their eye to private vehicles if the weeks taking will not sustain the weekends drinking and partying.
- Ban street trading
Going through some towns is a nightmare with street traders taking over the road similar. Onitsha and Ibadan are prime examples.
- Keep the roads clean
Keep the roads clean, makes for good karma and a better traveling experience
- Fix potholes
- Remove Customs
Move the customs back to the border.
Deep inside Ekiti
- Maintain the roads!
A little maintenance will really go a long way to keeping the road as roads and not bush paths or vehicle killing tracks
And will save the government serious money in the short and long run.
Doing even one thing on this list has visible effects on journey times and quality of journeys. When the Mohamed Abubakar was the Inspector General of Police from 2012 to 2014, he removed the police from the roads
and only allowed regular police patrols, my journey time from Lagos to Port Harcourt a distance of 600km went down by an hour!. And more importantly, crime along the highway actually went down.
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