The Federal Ministry of Transportation has encouraged Nigerians to consider bicycles as alternative means of commuting, to promote a cleaner environment and healthy lifestyle.
Speaking at the one-day stakeholders sensitisation meeting held in Abuja, the Director, Road Transport and Mass Transit Administration, Musa Ibrahim said the idea is to enhance and heighten the importance of cycling in Nigeria as it will obviously lead to a drop in road crash incidences.
Ibrahim noted that the stakeholders sensitisation meeting is in consonance with the World Bicycle Day that is marked annually on June 3 through a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution, Vanguard reports.
“The uniqueness, longevity and versatility of the bicycle as a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transport, fostering environmental stewardship and health” hence the United Nations 2023 World Bicycle Day theme: ‘Riding Together for a Sustainable Future,’ the Director, the World Bicycle Day said.
Interestingly, eradication of poverty, furthering of sustainable development, strengthening of education, including physical education, for children and young people; promoting health, preventing disease, and facilitating social inclusion are other advantages the Director noted, when bicycles as a means of transportation.
Furthermore, the importance of cycling in Nigeria, a proponent for Non-Motorised Transportation, NMT, the Chief Executive Officer, Ochenuell Mobility, Emmanuel John, in his presentation titled ‘Power of Cycling’, argued that cycling initiative extends beyond efforts to address climate change through cut down of carbon footprints.
In addition, John brought to fore that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, countries in a study, among others, outlined that most Africans countries throw away 3% of their Gross Domestic Product, GDP, to traffic congestion annually.
He proposed that developing an NMT travel culture in the country through the adoption of Green Corridors is a panacea to some of the identified drawbacks.
He pointed out that most of the challenges encountered with increased usage of motorised transportation will be reduced to a large extent if the Federal Government supports and adopts National Stakeholders Forum on Bicycle Transportation.