[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Federal Republic of Nigeria has approved bicycle riding as a means of transportation in its capital, Abuja as well as working on a pilot project that would encourage all other cities in the country to construct bicycle lanes.
The nation’s Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, revealed this to newsmen recently at the end of the recent National Council 0n Transportation (NACOT) in Sokota.
According to him, introduction of bicycles as a means of transportation would reduce congestion on the road and also improve the health of the riders.
“National Council on Transportation,” he explained, “is a policy making council. If nothing else, we approve that we should do a pilot project on bicycle riding in FCT. This is because Abuja is the only city that has facility for bicycle riding.
“For other states that want to do it, we must provide facility before they can proceed with it. We want to separate them from the roads, because some motorists are impatient. So we decided we should do it in Abuja, because, there are lanes for bicycle in nearly all the roads in Abuja.
“Any other state that wants to do that can go ahead, but they must provide lanes for bicycle, so that we do not have numerous accidents.”
Ameachi noted that using bicycle as means of transportation was not new, citing example of countries like UK and China.
The minister, who described the project as an investment, said it would also help reducing the number of passengers, using other forms of transportation, including cars, within the cities.