Saturday, 27th May 2023

Commuters, motorists raise concerns over potholes on Abuja roads

By Ajuluchukwu Brown, Abuja
24 May 2023   |   5:00 am
Commuters and motorists have raised concerns over pothole-ridden roads in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. They lamented that hoodlums have capitalised on the deplorable state of the roads to rob unsuspected motorists and commuters...

Potholes on Kubwa road PHOTO: AJULUCHUKWU BROWN

Commuters and motorists have raised concerns over pothole-ridden roads in the Federal Capital Territory  (FCT), Abuja. They lamented that hoodlums have capitalised on the deplorable state of the roads to rob unsuspected motorists and commuters, while incessant accidents and congestions in the capital city have been linked to the potholes.

Some of the residents, who spoke to The Guardian, yesterday, said roads in both the city centre, like Wuse, Gwarimpa and Garki, as well as satellite towns like Saburi, Kubwa and Dutse are ridden with potholes.
According to a resident in Kubwa, Mumuni Abdul, potholes are becoming common features in major parts of the city. He said: “Kubwa for instance, a fast-growing town very close to the city centre, has potholes dotting every section of the roads.
“The potholes are hindering free flow of traffic, especially in the evenings when workers are returning from work. It has also led to minor accidents and allows miscreants to go about their evil acts unchallenged.”
A trader in Jabi, Adamu Aliyu, who said he was once robbed on his way from Mandala market, said roads leading to Wuse market and some parts of Jabi are not also spared of potholes.
He said: “I was coming from Mandala market with my goods as usual and we were attacked by these criminals. We noticed suspicious movements and the driver tried speeding up to avoid the criminals, but he couldn’t because the vehicle got stuck in a pothole.
“Many traders also had experienced sad encounters. I am pleading with FCT administration to come to our aid, by effecting prompt repairs of the affected roads.”
Another commuter from Kubwa, Helen Ishaya, said: “Sometimes in 2021, some women group came together to repair the roads along the Byazhin, Kubwa area, following the deplorable state of the road.
“These women of all strata mounted roadblocks and collected money from motorists to add to their contributions. They used gravel and cement to fix the potholes, but it didn’t last.” Ishaya lamented that government and its agencies never care to do anything afterward.
“The major problem Kubwa residents, residing in Byazhin, are facing is accessible roads. People made efforts to assist the government in fixing the potholes, but government should be more responsible to provide essential infrastructure.”
For a motorist, Kufre Abasi, who said he has been in business for 15 years, said Abuja, as a city, only enjoyed good roads during Nasir El-Rufia administration.
He lamented that roads at Maitama, Central Area, Area 11 and Airport Road are receiving more attention against those at the satellite towns like Bwari, Kubwa, Saburi and Kuje, which are left with potholes.
According to him, the potholes adversely affect tyres, which is a recipe for disaster caused by road accidents.” Another commuter, Nkiruka Ada, believes that all the roads in Abuja need to be rehabilitated. She said: “All the roads in Abuja needs rehabilitation. Roads in both the city centres and satellite towns are out of shape according to global standards.
“The potholes in satellite towns are barely attended to simply because they are not in the public gaze like the potholes on roads in the city centres. The road leading to Banex Plaza, a city centre, used to be a den for criminals, who capitalise on the gridlock to snatch bags and purses from unsuspecting motorists and commuters. Now that rain has started, it is even worse.”
When contacted, director of facility maintenance and management in Abuja metropolitan management under Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Felix Obiora Nwankwo, said the potholes are signs of failures and the agency will intervene by providing palliatives until there are sufficient funds for permanent solution.
He said: “The potholes you are seeing are actually inside the city centre, we handle the maintenance and we are committed to bringing it back to normal.
“We engage small contractors and make sure these potholes are covered up. Understand that all roads have a lifespan, all those roads built in the 80s and 90s have exceeded their lifespan, and the potholes seen on them are normal. We can only provide intervention until there is availability of funds to do a proper resurfacing of these roads.
“We are only doing remedial jobs, until there is proper funding to do resurfacing.

“We assure residents of our commitment to fixing these potholes. We’re doing everything we can within our limits. We’re changing the narrative. So far, Abuja has one of the best roads in the whole of Nigeria. The roads will be resurfaced if the funds are available. We are doing everything in our power to fix all the potholes.”


In this article