The Mandate Secretary, Federal Capital Territory Transport secretariat, Arch Uboku, has said the administration was committed to encouraging cycling as a means of transport in the capital city.
Mr Uboku said this at the handover ceremony of 20 pilot bicycles donated to students of Government Secondary School, Tudu Wada, Wuse Zone 4 and inauguration of bicycles parking facility.
Ochenuel Mobility, a non-governmental organisation in collaboration with Global Designing Initiative, USA, donated the bicycles to the pupils and constructed the bicycle park in the school.
Mr Uboku, represented by the Chief Administrative Officer at the Transport Secretariat, Mr Pascal Nnadozie, stated that the government was committed to developing cycling to complement public transport.
“Accordingly, we shall expedite action to facilitate inclusive policies and regulations as well as facility provisions that will enable a safe cycling environment.
“I will ensure that the Directorate of Road Traffic Services, who is in support of this project, plays its contributory roles to ensure safety. On this note, I call on my counterpart, the executive secretary of FCDA, whom we have always worked together to fast-track development, creation and recovery of bicycle lanes at high speed, to enable safe cycling.
“It should be noted that bicycle lanes are parts of the urban road designs in the Abuja master plan but were largely ignored at the point of construction,’’ he said.
He added that the FCT administration had earlier expressed readiness to commence the recovery of the lanes.
Mr Uboku, who commended Ochenuel Mobility, urged all beneficiary pupils to ride safely.
He advised the school management to make good use of the parking facility.
The Director of FCT Secondary Education Board, Dr Mohammed Sani, said the benefits of cycling to the students were enormous.
According to him, cycling regularly can improve physical activities which results in enhanced intelligence, healthier life with fewer out-of-school days linked to illnesses.
“Parents can save money from the cost of transport and or the use of personal cars as they won’t have to waste time and resources to drive their children to school. The government supports and collaborates with Ochenuel Mobility in replicating the project in other schools in the FCT,’’ he said.
Also, the Chief Executive Officer of Ochenuell Mobility, Mr John Emmanuel, said the vision behind the project was to ensure 30 per cent of students cycled to school in FCT by 2025.
According to him, the project which has six critical activities enjoyed the support of the Global Designing Initiative from the USA.
He said the project started in May with a national stakeholder’s forum on safe streets to school.
“Following a feasibility study on select school corridors, there will be a capacity building programme for the city authority and security/safety agencies. Thereafter, an open-street event will be held to sensitise the public, drivers and other road users.
“The final leg in the project is the workshop for parents and teachers ahead of the commissioning of the bicycle parking and handover of bicycles to selected pupils by random picking of their names.
“I humbly call for sustenance of the collaboration with the government to replicate the project in other schools and to ensure all residents of the FCT can ride bicycles safely across the city’s roads, ’’he said.