The Federal Capital Territory’s (FCT) Minister, Nyesom Wike, has unveiled an ambitious plan to enhance the safety and security of Abuja’s transportation system through the installation of advanced surveillance cameras.
According to Wike, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) will soon install cameras across Abuja as part of digital security monitoring and control measures in the FCT transport management system.
This is expected to curb ‘One Chance’ robbery by criminals who make use of commercial vehicles to dispossess unsuspecting members of the public of their belongings, among other crimes.
Wike made the announcement on Saturday at the 2023 Special Marshals Sectoral Workshop, organised by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), FCT Sector Command Special Marshals.
The minister, who was represented by the Secretary, Transport Secretariat, FCTA, Mr Ubokutom Nya, said that the digitization of transport management would ensure the safety and security of commuters in the FCT.
He added that the initiative would equally enhance affordability and efficiency in transportation services.
“The idea of the digital monitoring system is part of our attention to details in providing a transportation system that will be safe and secure.
“Apart from being affordable, those entering a vehicle, private or mass transit of the FCT will have peace of mind that as he enters the vehicle, so also he will come out safely,” Wike said.
He explained that the digital monitoring system would be made up of cameras that would be able to track vehicles that carry people.
He said: “once in the vehicle, the system will time the trip and alert the central control system if a person does not scan out at the time he or she is supposed to disembark the vehicle.
“This means that in real time, there will be an alarm to search for the individual who entered the vehicle.
“You don’t need to call any person at home, saying you entered a particular vehicle, because it is self-activating.
“As you enter, you scan in on the vehicle and it goes to the central control and as you come out within a period, it also goes to cancel. If the trip is not canceled, there is an alarm that is triggered.
“We are working on the details, and it will not be too long before it comes on board.”
The minister added that other innovations would also be rolled out in line with the secretariat vision – safety, affordability, and flexibility.
“We are working on rail transportation; we are working on Bus Rapid Transport and consulting with private individuals who will bring in their private transportation.
“The FCT will also be working on upgrading our motor parks to global standards, so that people will be encouraged to patronise public transport.
“This, of course, will reduce the number of private vehicles on the roads, and if there are fewer private vehicles, it means that the traffic movement will be better,” he said.
Wike noted that Abuja recorded a high level of crashes as a result of irresponsible road users, which, he described as “worrisome”, and called for drastic actions.
He noted that most road users did not comply with traffic regulations like maintaining tolerable speed limit, obeying traffic lights and maintaining lane discipline among others.
This, he said, caused traffic infractions for other road users making the roads unsafe.
“On our own part as the administrators of the FCT, we will continue to relate with critical stakeholders in this sector to enable us to achieve our core mandate,” the minister said.
On his part, the FRSC Corps Marshal, Dauda Biu, stressed the need for a review of the road safety management activities and analysis of factors that could contribute to the reduction of crashes on Nigerian roads.
Biu, who was represented by the Deputy Corps Marshal, Shehu Zaki, blamed road crashes on the action or inaction of road users, saying it was preventable.
He added that road safety advocacy was not for the FRSC alone, but a responsibility of all stakeholders.