By Salisu Sani-Idris, Abuja.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on Tuesday in Abuja inaugurated the construction of China-Aid Wireless Solar Control Traffic Signal projects at 98 major intersections in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, who performed the inauguration of the projects at Wuye District Market Junction, said that it would ease traffic and enhance orderliness on Abuja roads.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary of FCTA, Mr Olusade Adesola, the minister said that the project would add value to efforts of managing energy consumption needs, as the traffic control signals would utilise wireless LED Energy Saving Illumination.
Bello said that the project would complement the efforts of the FCTA in building a world-class capital city.
According to him, Abuja is one of the fastest growing cities in the world, with an equally fast growing population.
“This rapid growth has put enormous pressure on the city’s infrastructure, including those dedicated to traffic management.
“On our part, we will ensure an enabling environment for a hitch-free and successful delivery of this project and look forward to its completion and subsequent commissioning,” he said.
Earlier, the permanent secretary said that plans for the project started in 2012, during the 4th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, (FOCAC) when the Chinese government approved the request to help the Nigerian government construct solar-powered wireless traffic control signals at 98 intersections in Abuja.
Adesola, represented by the Mandate Secretary for FCT Transportation Secretariat, Alhaji Abdullahi Candido, said that the solar-powered traffic light system had proven to be reliable and energy-efficient, especially in the face of rising cost of gas in the global market.
“The major challenge is our resolve to own the project and commit to protecting it from vandalism, as already directed by the FCT minister, authorised officials to work on the installation will be clearly identifiable.
“I, therefore, call on citizens and residents to rise to protect the installations. If you see something unusual taking place, please raise alarm,” he said.
Also speaking, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jian Chun, reiterated the commitment of the Chinese government to supporting the efforts of Nigerian government at all levels in developing infrastructure to boost socio-economic activities.
He said that the project, which was part of the aid initiative to booster China’s relations with Nigeria, was aimed at promoting harmony in the society, “as it is critical in governing the people’’.
On his part, Mr Jiang Kai Fong, the Project Manager, China Railway Eight Engineering Group Co. Ltd., (CREC No. 8), the firm designated by Chinese government to execute the traffic light project, gave an overview of the project.