In a bid to foster a cleaner environment and a healthier lifestyle, the Federal Ministry of Transportation is urging Nigerians to embrace bicycles as an alternative means of commuting.
During a one-day stakeholders’ sensitization meeting in Abuja, Musa Ibrahim, the Director of Road Transport and Mass Transit Administration, emphasized the importance of cycling in Nigeria. He believes that encouraging cycling will significantly reduce road crash incidents.
This initiative aligns with the global commemoration of World Bicycle Day on June 3, as designated by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The World Bicycle Day celebrates the bicycle as a simple, affordable, reliable, clean, and environmentally friendly means of transportation that promotes environmental stewardship and health. The theme for the United Nations 2023 World Bicycle Day is ‘Riding Together for a Sustainable Future.’
The benefits of cycling extend beyond addressing climate change by reducing carbon footprints. According to Emmanuel John, the Chief Executive Officer of Ochenuell Mobility and a proponent of Non-Motorised Transportation (NMT), cycling can also play a significant role in eradicating poverty, promoting sustainable development, enhancing education (including physical education for children and young people), improving public health, preventing diseases, and fostering social inclusion.
John highlighted a study conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which revealed that most African countries lose about 3% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually due to traffic congestion. To address this issue, he proposed the development of NMT travel culture in Nigeria by adopting Green Corridors, which could serve as a solution to some of the identified challenges.
To achieve this vision of a more bicycle-friendly Nigeria, John suggests that the Federal Government support and adopt the National Stakeholders Forum on Bicycle Transportation. This forum would be instrumental in shaping policies and implementing measures to encourage and facilitate bicycle use nationwide.
By promoting cycling as a sustainable and eco-friendly mode of transport, Nigeria can work towards a greener future, reduce traffic congestion, and create a healthier society. The Federal Ministry of Transportation’s efforts in encouraging bicycles as a viable commuting option demonstrate a commitment to fostering environmental responsibility and sustainable living for all Nigerians.