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Achievements/ Challenges of FCTA  Transport Secretariat, DRTS

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FAVOUR ISHEMBER chronicles the activities of account of the Federal Capital Territory Administration Transport Secretariat and the Directorate of Road Transport Service (DRTS).Excerpt:

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An average of 32 vehicles get involved in road crashes across the Federal Capital Territory, every month, with a total of 348 motor vehicles involved in different road accidents between January to December 2022.

Upon much enquires, Daily Champion gathered that more of these accidents were witnessed in the month of April 2022, as a result of over speeding and the slippery nature of the road surface during the rainy season.

Figures from the Transportation Secretariat of the FCTA shows that 508 people were involved in those 348 accidents, out of which 39 persons lost their lives, with 118 of them sustaining serious injuries while 355 people had minor or no injuries at all.

Mandate Secretary to the Secretariat, Abdulahi Candido, told journalists at the annual end of year briefing of the Secretariat that majority of the recorded accidents were self- accidents.

Documents obtained from the Secretariat also revealed that a total of 3,532 out of 54,620 applicants for driver’s license were denied licenses because they failed the test.

Also during the period under review, about 21, 438 vehicles reportedly failed roadworthiness test. This figure is from the 37, 572 vehicles inspected between January and December, out of which only 16, 198 were found worthy.

Candido said the alarming figure was gotten from the rigorous examination the vehicles were subjected to at the Computerised  Vehicle Inspection facilities.

The Secretary attributed the high failure rate to random importation of fairly used vehicles, otherwise known as ” tukumbo” into the country, noting that most of these vehicles were given face-lifting treatment by their initial owners, after being involved in an accident or flooding in their countries of origin.

While he acknowledged that bad road network within the suburbs, and poor maintenance culture contribute significantly to the failure of these vehicles, he revealed that the Directorate of Road Traffic Services, DRTS, has been mandated to subject all vehicles to the computerised test before car documents renewal will be issued.

Also, to ameliorate traffic related offences in Abuja, 4,401 errant drivers were sent to a compulsory correctional training within this year.

About 850 dispatch riders were also made to attend the mandatory training of the DRTS, before being issued with a Riders Certification Card.

About 1, 120 traffic offenders were also prosecuted before a  a Mobile Court in Abuja.

“A total of 4401 traffic regulation violators, 850 Dispatch operation Riders have attended mandatory training at our Lugbe centre.

“A total of 37, 572 motor vehicles have undergone inspection and emission testing at the DRTS computerised Inspection Centres.

On the provision of the long awaited BRT route, the Secretary disclosed that the review of the conceptual design and available studies for a long term Integrated Abuja BRT and detailed design of the pilot corridor, CBD to Auta Balefi in Nassarawa State is about 95percent completed.

He said the project is being carried out through African Development Bank grant.

According to him, “The certification of the 32.2KM project’s Environmental Social Impact Assessment Report, ESIA, by the Federal Ministry of Environment is 100percent completed.

“The draft letter to Federal Ministry of Finance for the securing of African Development Bank loan for the BRT project phase 1 is awaiting the endorsement of the FCT Administration.”

He said the administration is currently in a negotiation with two private investors for injection of high capacity buses into Abuja Urban Transportation System.

Draft Memorandum of Understanding has been forwarded to the Abuja Investment Company Ltd and AlIC for Public Private Participation Option reviews and further due diligence.

On technological innovations, the Secretary revealed that it has reduced counterfeiting, touting and improved service delivery in the Terrory.

Specifically, he said the DRTS has established five additional Driver’s license capturing centres in Lugbe, Federal Secretariat, Kugbo, Bwari, Apo Resettlement. This has eased applicant’s registration, training and testing processes.

Also,  five mobile courts were provided  for prompt prosecution of offenders. The Directorate created more Area Commands bringing the total to 22. This will guarantee wider Coverage of the Territory for enforcement operations.
The Directorate also Created five Zonal Commands to expand its activities while overseeing the progress of Area Commands.

Seamless Traffic flow within the FCT

The Collaborative Strategic & tactical clamp down operations with the Military and Paramilitary Agencies in the Federal Capital City (FCC) and other conflict prone areas has gradually reduced the menace of unpainted taxis, illegal parks, commercial motorcycles and tricycles operating outside the approved routes.

The Directorate Call Centre was upgraded with the aim of receiving complaints, collection and dissemination of real-time traffic/tray information.

The public can now call DRTS hotlines 08150500008, 08188889913.

The recently established five Zonal Traffic Commands has greatly reduced congestion and traffic conflicts within the FCC and its environs. The Zonal Traffic Commands and coverage areas are;

Zone 1; Area 1, Area 10, Federal Secretariat, Apo

Zone2; Berger Junction, Wuse, Maitama

Zone 3; City gate, Dantata bridge, Lugbe, Kuje, Gwagwalada

Zone 4; AYA, Nyanya, Jikwoyi, Karshi

Zone 5; Katampe, Mpape, Kubwa, Dei-dei, Zuba, Dutse, Bwari .

On E-enforcement, the DRTS Collaborated with Messrs Chit hub and Messrs Access Solutions LTD to deploy a network of artificial intelligent enabled cameras at traffic junctions and black spots for real time security and incident management.

During the period under review, there were provision and installation of bus stop shelters and additional ten highway bus stop shelters were constructed along the various highways to provide shelters and safety for passengers awaiting public transport. Procurement is in progress to provide more bus shelters and to refurbish some of the existing ones.

Significantly, the DRTS achieved 89.30% of the set revenue target as at 30th November 2022. The variation of 10.7% is expected to be surpassed by December 2022.

DRIVERS CORRECTIONAL TRAINING

A total of 4,401 persons attended correctional training for various offences during the review period January to November 2022.

Also 850 Dispatch Riders attended the mandatory training at DRTS Centre Lugbe, as part of the process to acquire the Riders Certification Card (RCC) for dispatch operations in the FCT.

There has been a special Task Force operations on commercial motorcycles as the DRTS Special Task Team between January and November 2022 impounded a total of 4,552 motorcycles and  2,552 were  crushed while over 2,000 are in the process of being crushed before the year runs out.

CONSTRUCTION AND REHABILITATION OF PEDESTRIAN WALKWAYS

Candido explained that the Abuja Master plan envisaged that a sizeable portion of trips within the city would be made by pedestrians through cycling and walking. The system which provides safety, comfort and convenience for pedestrians who are the most vulnerable amongst all traffic modes consists of various components such as sidewalks, paths, alleys, crosswalks, bridges, bicycle racks etc. Construction work is going on at appreciable level at the various sites in Garki, Wuse 1, Maitama.

SETTING UP TRAFFIC CONTROL CENTRE:

During the period under review, the Secretariat awarded a Contract for the setting up of a Control Centre with the sole purpose of integrating all the signalized intersections there. The Control Centre will help in monitoring the traffic lights installations real-time for easy operation and maintenance. Work is still ongoing at the Control Centre which is domiciled in the Secretariat

FLAG OFF OF CHINA AID SOLAR POWERED WIRELESS TRAFFIC LIGHT PROJECT

In September 2022, the project for the construction and installation of wireless LED Traffic control signals at 98 intersections in the FCT (a grant from the Chinese government) was flagged off by the Honourable Minister of the FCT who was represented by the Permanent Secretary. The Chinese Contractor handling the project, Messrs China Railway Eighth Engineering Group Co. Ltd (CREC-8) is working assiduously at the sites.

The 98 intersections span through the City Centre, Ring Road II, Gudu, Nyanya-Karshi axis, Kubwa, Gwagwalada and Kuje. It is expected that the installation proper will start by the first quarter of 2023 and computerized inspection, le steering alignments, defective suspension/ wiring system amongst others

Bad road network in the suburbs and poor motor vehicle maintenance also contribute to vehicle components becoming defective. The DRTS has thus made it mandatory for all vehicles owners renewing their car documents to undergo the computerized inspection at any nearby centre. This is aimed at ensuring safer roads in the FCT.

Challenges

Funding has been identified as the major challenge hindering faster delivery of set goals in the Secretariat. Though this challenge is not peculiar to the Secretariat alone, we believe the situation will improve for better in 2023

Office accommodation  is another major issue confronting the Secretariat. The DRTS permanent office complex project have been greeted by poor financing for years. The other Departments are facing even worse situation Staff motivation.

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