· By Ononye VCOver two decades after, the FCT Administration has finally begun the rehabilitation and upgrading of select traffic lights in the Federal Capital City to address the challenges of traffic gridlock.According to the Transportation Secretariat of the FCTA, 33 traffic light intersections out of the 172 in the city will be rehabilitated in the first phase of the maintenance work to be carried out on dilapidated traffic lights, some of which were said to have been installed since 1998.The Abuja Inquirer had in July 2021, reported that over 63 percent of the traffic light installations across the FCT were non-functional, as over 110 road intersections were without functioning traffic lights at the time.The Acting Secretary at the time, Usman Yahaya, told the media that only 62 of the existing 172 traffic lights at various intersections across different districts were in good condition as most of them had been knocked down by motorist while components of several others had been vandalised by criminals.Inspecting the project at the weekend, the permanent secretary, Mr. Adesola Olusade, said the first intersections were selected according to the priority of usage.He explained that the current upgrade which came with security features will connect all the traffic signals to a central point where activities at the intersections will be monitored to bring about sanity on the roads.Adesola disclosed that the rehabilitation work was part of the approved FCT 2021 budget, with additional ones awaiting the approval of Bureau of Public Enterprise.The permanent secretary further revealed that the administration had another China intervention support that would commence installation by June/July which will strengthen the traffic lights system.This, according to him, will ultimately translate to tangible improvement in the installation, rehabilitation and maintenance of the lights across the territory.“For some time now, there have been issues with traffic signals in the Federal Capital City but with the award of this contract all the challenges associated with the traffic lights will be addressed.”Olusade started the inspection of the traffic lights project at Zakari Maimalara by Muhammadu Buhari way in the Central Business District, and ended at Kashim Ibrahim way/Anguiyi Ironsi street in Maitama District.On its sustainability, the Mandate Secretary FCT Transportation Secretariat, Zakari Dobi, said adequate measures will be put in place by the secretariat to safeguard the millions naira worth traffic lights infrastructure scheme.Dobi said the project valued at N394 million will be for one year, “but with 2022 budget it can be extended to 3 years considering its importance.”However, the contractor, Engr. Adewale Ikatun, explained that the project which is rehabilitation and reactivation of some intersections started in the last two weeks, and will last for three months in the first phase.

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