• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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ONICCIMA decries infrastructural decay in Onitsha

ONICCIMA decries infrastructural decay in Onitsha

Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ONICCIMA) has decried the deplorable infrastructure in the commercial hub of Anambra State, particularly the roads.

ONICCIMA president, Kevin Obieri, made this known in Onitsha on Tuesday, saying the roads needed immediate repairs.

He listed such dilapidated roads in the area to include 3-3-Nsugbe, Awka Road, New Market Road, Niger Bridge approach from Onitsha, Niger Street to Main Market, Creek Road, Ochanja Round About to Zik Ave, Oguta Road among others.

He said the deplorable condition of the roads had led to traffic gridlock being experienced in Onitsha for some time now, hence the need to speed up the pace of road rehabilitation.

The chambers also decried the illegal checkpoints by security operatives in the name of ‘security concern, especially at both Asaba and Onitsha ends of the Niger Bridge.

Obieri lamented that at the Asaba end of the Niger Bridge, in particular, commuters are faced with five different sets of security checkpoints at each side of the expressway, all a few meters apart.

Read also: Bad roads, no rail dampen excitement over Lekki port

He said that the unwholesome activities of the security personnel at the various checkpoints, especially in the evening and early morning hours, resulting in an unnecessary traffic gridlock on the bridge with the attendant hardship to commuters.

Obieri appealed to both Governors Charles Soludo of Anambra, and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State to find alternative operational ways the security agents can carry out their duties without constituting both economic and social hardship to road users.

The chamber suggested immediate dismantling of all roadblocks both day and night at the entrance of Niger Bridge.

The chamber also demanded the immediate removal or relocation of all security operatives that man various checkpoints at both ends of the bridge.

They noted that the activities of security personnel if they must remain should be limited to surveillance and monitoring to ensure the free flow of traffic and the safety of people.

The chamber also prescribed punitive measures for traffic offences as a way of reducing chaotic traffic situation and maintenance of orderliness on the roads.

Obieri said Onitsha has become notorious for all sorts of traffic violations ranging from driving against traffic (one way), illegal discharging and picking up of passengers to reckless driving by commercial bus and Keke drivers.

“It is widely believed that the traffic violations persist because the majority of the law enforcement agents posted to ensure the smooth flow of traffic on our roads have been compromised,” the president said.

The chamber president recommended the setting up of a task force that would monitor, implement and impound vehicles that flout the traffic laws of the state.

The chamber suggested punitive measures such as psychiatric evaluation, community service, impounding of vehicles and payment of fines for the offenders in addition to sensitisation of people on proper traffic rules to adhere to protect their lives and others on various radio and television stations in the state.

The organised private sector decried the negative actions of touts which have been banned by the state governor himself, wondering why they were still being treated with kid gloves.

They asked the state government to go all out and begin massive arrest of these criminals and their sponsors because according to them they were behind the type of gridlock experienced in Onitsha in recent times.