As part of its commitment to promoting a cleaner environment and healthier lifestyle, the Federal Ministry of Transportation in Nigeria is encouraging citizens to consider bicycles as an alternative mode of commuting.
Musa Ibrahim, the Director of Road Transport and Mass Transit Administration, emphasized this during a one-day stakeholders sensitization meeting held in Abuja. The aim is to raise awareness about the significance of cycling in Nigeria, which can contribute to reducing road accidents.
This initiative aligns with the annual World Bicycle Day observed on June 3, as designated by a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution. World Bicycle Day celebrates the bicycle’s attributes as a simple, affordable, reliable, clean, and environmentally friendly means of transport, promoting environmental stewardship and health. The theme for the United Nations’ 2023 World Bicycle Day is ‘Riding Together for a Sustainable Future.’
The Director also highlighted that bicycles can play a vital role in addressing poverty, promoting sustainable development, improving education, especially physical education for children and young people, fostering good health, preventing diseases, and facilitating social inclusion.
In Nigeria, cycling holds importance not only in efforts to combat climate change and reduce carbon footprints but also in alleviating traffic congestion, which costs many African countries approximately 3% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually, as reported by a study conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
To address these challenges, a proponent for Non-Motorised Transportation (NMT), Emmanuel John, CEO of Ochenuell Mobility, emphasized the power of cycling. He proposed developing an NMT travel culture by adopting Green Corridors as a solution to some of the identified issues. With the Federal Government’s support and the adoption of a National Stakeholders Forum on Bicycle Transportation, many of the problems associated with increased motorized transportation usage could be significantly reduced.