Stories by Patrick Andrew Abuja
Th e federal government is to design roads, highways and bridges that refl ect modern technology in line with the Global Urban Agenda adopted in Quito, Ecuador. The model, designed and adopted this, is a global brand initiators strongly believe would guide the global urban development until 2036. The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who disclosed this at the NAF Conference Centre, Abuja, said the agenda is to raise the level and quality of our transport infrastructure to the globally acceptable standards.
He said Nigeria as a key driver of agenda intends to localize and implement the initiative as well as push same at the level of the Africa continent. “What is left is for us as champions of that African position and urban agenda, is to begin to localize and implement its component parts for the benefi ts of our people. Yes, we have to build roads, highways and bridges,” he said. The minister said unless Nigeria knows where these critical transport infrastructure lead to, they will either have failed to achieve the objective of mobility or will, at best, do so with diffi culty.
“Th e proliferation of global, country and state maps on the handheld devices therefore creates a compelling urgency on all of us to start developing and installing signage on our roads, bridges and highways at interstate and intrastate levels. “Th is is one sure way of facilitating mobility and implementing the local component of the global urban agenda for the benefi t of our people. But it will not be enough to just simply erect any type of sign, in any place or indeed anyhow
. “Th ey must be produced according to specifi cations and enduring materials, and they must be installed to a minimum standard that ensures their durability, endurance and utility for commuters,” he stated. However, the minister said, “these maps alone do not achieve the purpose without road signs, which indicates to road users, how far their journey is, how far they have progressed, how much is left to travel, and how far away they are from one village, city, local government, or from critical services like hospitals, fuel stations and hotels or motels to help ease the stress and tedium of long distance travel.”
According to him, many countries had long before the development of the Internet and the proliferation of smart phones and apps, developed maps to help guide their citizens and transport infrastructure users through the labyrinth of their network of roads. Nigeria, Fashola said, has no reason not to join of nations that have utilized technology in the design of roads, highways and bridges to assist visitors plot their geography with minimum hassle.