Onitsha, July 4, 2022
The Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (ONICCIMA) wishes to appreciate His Excellency, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, and his team for continually confronting the myriad of challenges faced by Ndi Anambra head-on. We earnestly hope that the pace of positive changes would significantly improve over time.
As the government works to ease the burdens of the citizens of the State, we would once again like to draw its attention to the lingering issue of traffic gridlocks which has become somewhat of a daily occurrence especially in Onitsha with its excruciating consequences/horrors.
Commuters and business owners entering, doing business within, and/or exiting Onitsha have continued to suffer needless delays leading to a loss in productive man-hours. ONICCIMA has observed that these gridlocks result from several factors which, if tackled by the State Government, would go a long way in solving the problem.
The problems and solutions are;
- Dilapidated Roads
Roads within the state are in urgent need of repair. Examples of such roads are the 3-3 – Nsugbe Road, Awka Road, New Market Road, Niger Bridge approach from Onitsha amongst others. In a bid to avoid these bad spots, motorists are forced to drive haphazardly. This most often leads to the build-up of traffic which would have been avoided if some palliative work were done on these bad spots. The Chamber appeals to the State government to speed up the pace of road rehabilitation within the city.
Some law enforcement agents under the guise of “security concerns” set up roadblocks at the Onitsha end of the Niger Bridge, and some bad sections of the road. At the Asaba end of the bridge, commuters are faced with five different sets of security checkpoints all a few meters apart. Unfortunately, the activities of the security personnel at these various checkpoints (especially in the evening and early hours of the morning) result in unnecessary traffic gridlock with attendant hardship to commuters. While the Chamber appreciates the security situation, we appeal to the Anambra state government to work in partnership with its Delta state counterpart to find alternative operational ways these security agents can carry out their legitimate duties without causing further hardship to
the people. In the overriding interest of the socio-economic well-being of the citizens of Anambra, the
Onitsha Chamber of Commerce hereby suggests:
a. The dismantling of all roadblocks (Day or Night) at the entrance to the Niger Bridge.
b. Except for the FRSC and state/local/voluntary traffic controllers, all Security agents that man the various checkpoint at both ends of the bridge should be removed or relocated.
c. The activities of the security personnel (if they must remain) should be limited to surveillance and monitoring to ensure free flow of traffic and safety.
- Implementing Punitive Measures for Traffic Offenses
Onitsha has become notorious for all manner of traffic violations ranging from driving against traffic (one-way driving), illegal discharging, and pick-up of consequences for traffic violations, the state government should set up a task force to monitor, implement and impound vehicles that flout the traffic laws of
the state. Punitive measures such as psychiatric evaluation, community service, and payment of penal fees for impounded vehicles can be applied.
The Government can also run programs on various radio and television stations educating the people on proper traffic rules to adhere to and protect their lives and that of others. The Chamber believes that these measures if implemented would go a long way in addressing the continuous traffic gridlock which has become a nightmare for commuters and the business community.
The Chamber remains committed to partnering with the state government to drive programs that would benefit Ndi-Anambra.
Chief Sir Kevin U. Obieri FCA, FCTI,