LOS: Delta Airlines. ABV: Lufthansa; British Airways.
Music + Society.
Majek Fashek. (Send Down the Rain) 5.36
Sade (Smooth Operator) 4:17
Paul Simon. (Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes) 5.54
Miriam Makeba (A Luta Continua) 4:51
Sophie Hawkins (As I Lay Me Down) 4:07
Government. People. Business.
Hamond, Charles (MD). Stallion House, Victoria Island, Lagos. (01)263-0138, 263-0131, 261-1892.
Eruchalu, C.N. (LLM)
Government. People. Business.
"The illusions of power must be unmasked, idolatry must be undone, oppression and exploitation must be fought, and all who participate in these evils must be confronted. This is compassion".
McNeill, Morrison & Nouwen.
Abuja by Road.
Connecting communities with a more efficient road infrastructure will add value to human development. Currently if we have to drive to Abuja from Lagos the routes are not as fascinating, scenic or cost-effective. There are lots of roads in quantity, not quality. The federal roads or A roads connect the regions and should be better and safer, but this is not necessarily so. Roads don’t have to be straight but a relatively linear road has some advantages. Shorter distances can mean savings in construction, travel time and fuel costs.
Older civilizations with scattered communities present an obstacle to a relatively linear road development. Displacement of human population can be too expensive to manage. There are villages and forests that don’t have to be destroyed. Politics, corruption and population density are some of the hindrances to transportation planning in Nigeria. There is a tourism ministry or department but road administration has to evolve a lot more. Safety is a concern on many roads. Smart phones and GIS can be helpful but hardly enough for travel planning.
Some new constructions are taking place and a few A roads may become E. The highways or expressways are necessary but limited access roads connecting the regions are highly desirable. Shortage of funds has not been Nigeria’s number 1 problem. Some really nice roads can be constructed and tolled but the pre-existing culture contradicts its viability. A country road or parkway for example, narrower and less expensive can be constructed for less than the highway. A chief cannot necessarily manage a road system better than a gentleman. There are too many big men in Nigeria impeding professionalism in administration. This is one obstacle that must be removed before professionals can improve government departments.
Some roads earmarked for construction 30 to 40 years ago have not been constructed and a few are just being constructed. Somehow some administrators prefer to spend large amounts on weddings and burials than on better roads. If we have to drive almost as the crow flies from Lagos to Abuja, we will be moving in the direction of Sagamu to Ijebu Igbo, towards Dandola, Yememi, Ipetu Ijesha, Agbado, Kabba, Osenseni onto Abuja.
An expressway currently does not exist in this direction, but a very good roadway can be put together by state or local governments, if not the federal one. Regional administration in some areas can make this possible but there are limitations. Federal allocation formulas are not always helpful and management at the local level can be just as tricky.
The trailers and tankers will remain plenty in Nigeria until alternatives to road and petrol become the norm. Currently too little is being done to switch from fossil fuels and the road vehicle. There needs to be roads prohibiting trucks or commercial vehicles as an alternative to the expressways or highways. In addition road administration needs to improve in many ways.
Emergency road blocks, traffic or police personnel seeking bribes, etc. are existing problems that cost money and lives. Going to Sagamu, then Benin before going onto Lokoja then Abuja (about 753km) may apply by expressway. And going to Ilorin first before going to Jebba and onto Abuja (about 1000km) is another option by A road. It should be possible to go on safer and beautiful roads across the regions on state and local roads.
Mr. Alayande, J. F. (Pi Sigma Alpha)