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Traffic Management

Traffic Management

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Published by Zubaida Kilina

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Published by: Zubaida Kilina on Mar 26, 2011
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01/03/2013

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Introduction
This is the report of a Policy Dialogue that took placeon Saturday, May 24, 2008, at Mambayya House,Kano. The dialogue was organized by the Centre forDemocratic Research and Training, Mambayya House,in collaboration with the Kano State Ministry of Justice,and was supported by the Law Firm of Dikko andMahmoud, Kano. The report presents the introductionto the Policy
Dialogue‟ its
main deliberations, andfindings of the exercise. Thereafter, recommendationsare provided, which if implemented by the governmentand other stakeholders, the problem of trafficmanagement in Kano would be overcome.Many an inhabitant or important visitor to metropolitanKano today expresses deep angst over the state of traffic and transportation system in the state, despite thefact that the state government is never neglectful of itsresponsibility in terms of building new roads and streetsacross the state. Indeed motorists and passengers on thestreets of urban Kano wonder whether they are in themidst of a circus, given the chaotic nature of trafficmovement and mode of driving, especially given thelarge population of Kano (which is the most populatedstate in Nigeria according to the 2006 Census figures).The glaring reality in metropolitan Kano these days is apoor transport system, which is characterized by poorroad networks, failed traffic lights, mountainous refusedumps, over flooded gutters and roadside drainages,and encroachment into road surfaces by itinerant tradersand hawkers of wares. Very few motorists seem toknow or care to comply with traffic regulations, andoften, there is hardly any authority to enforce suchregulations. A deep sense of anger and frustration iswritten visibly on the faces of virtually all traffic usersand pedestrians. Everything and everyone is at risk. The
 
2worst victims are women and children.
People‟s h
ealthand wealth have never had it so bad, while convenienceand comfort on the road had since become a foregoneaspiration.Chaotic traffic is admittedly common to most urbancentres in Nigeria. Kano however, in recent past seemsto have more than a fair share of this burden. Theproliferation of motor-cycle taxis in the city isunmatched by any Nigerian town or city. The ridersseem to generally operate above the law contributing toserious accidents, injuring many and contributing toincreasing air and noise pollution. Some of themengage in petty crimes further compounding thenuisance. The problem, however, is
not just „YanAchaba‟. Our culture of road use ha
s considerablyworsened in recent years.
Most road users don‟t respect
traffic rules and regulations. Our streets, roads, side-walks, highways and the few open spaces remaining inthe city have been taken over by traders, second handcar dealers, other small businesses, beggars andhawkers of all sorts of wares ranging from petrol tocigarettes. The authorities seem to be in a constantretreat on enforcement issues thereby broadening thescope of lawlessness. The situation is simply becomingunbearable.Kano however has additional burden. It is evidentlylagging behind in initiatives aimed at tackling theseproblems. Nothing apparently depicts the dire state of rule of law in Nigeria and in Kano in particular morethan the chaos in roads and streets where the rule of lawhas been replaced by the
Rule of All
. If Kano mustrestore its glory as the Centre of Commerce, as a decentcity to live and bring up our children, urgent anddecisive steps need to be taken to restore it as a clean,
 
3attractive and efficient city with modern infrastructureincluding safe and decent public transport system.
Objectives Of The Dialogue
The specific objectives of the Policy Dialogue were asfollows:
 
To bring to the attention of all stakeholders,relevant authorities, and the general public thecurrent chaotic situation in urban Kano regardingtraffic management and urban mass transportationsystem;
 
To identify the key areas of failure and the factorsresponsible for such failure;
 
To identify the major effects and the social costsof the current situation;
 
To identify short term, medium term, and longterm measures needed to address the problem; and
 
To recommend concrete measures that would helpto co-ordinate and streamline efforts in tacklingthe problem.
Justification for the Dialogue
It is in response to these urgent challenges that theCentre of Democratic Research and Training,Mambayya House, Bayero University, Kano incollaboration with the Kano State Ministry of Justiceand with the support of the Law Firm of DIKKO &MAHMOUD convened this Policy Dialogue thatbrought stakeholders together to review the situation,identify short, medium and long term policy measuresthat need to be taken to reverse the current trends andenthrone an efficient traffic management system andtransportation infrastructure in the State.

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