WE DON’T NEED FLYOVER: A GOOD RIDDANCE TO BAD RUBBISH by Felix Samari

0
272

There is time for politicking, there is time to work for the people. Now is the time to work as there will be no need to waste precious future of Adamawa people in political analysis and bickering.

Facts are sacred but opinion always is free. Everyone can wake up and bring an argument about Government policies and programs. Some will be so convincing and if not looked from a balanced point, one will have no option than to accept.

Recently what is in the front burner is the hullabaloo about the viability and significance of a flyover bridge in Yola the Adamawa State Capital.

Before I go on, I want to make it clear, I don’t write to counter anyone or even writing to praise sing and/or please a sponsor; but I am wring just as an enthusiastic and optimistic writer who want to look at life from the most thinkable possibility angle so as to give a feeling of relief to my people from the stress of negativity and corrupt information.

The plan to build a flyover bridge has been tagged a white elephant project in some quarters; others see it as a way to syphoning funds of the state that will plunge the state into more debts and financial quagmire. Like earlier mentioned, everyone has entitlement to their opinion.

But for the sake of clarity and reinstatement of facts every capital project has tremendous economic benefit to the state. Experts believe that any capital project in a state will bring about Increased spending of the consumer, increased flow of trade (locally and internationally); local businesses have opportunity to increase their investment as a result of patronage and productive engagement. The capital project will bolster contractors increased in revenue thereby driving activities and increase in money in circulation. This is a very beneficial possibility with any multi-billion naira project, be it road, housing or any kind of infrastructure. “Infrastructure investment could be an extraordinarily useful tool for macroeconomic stabilization.” Said Josh Bivens, a director of research at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

This may make more sense to those who have travelled widely. For those who have travelled the world, you will agree with me that flyover bridges are not mere luxury but an economic and ecological necessity. Starting with the definite reduction of emission that reduces environmental pollution, flyover bridges are proven to save a lot of fuel for road users and it cuts off about 35% total emission because of reduced in combustion fuel lose. This is a huge ecological benefit as the world is looking for every possible way to bring down the carbon emissions from cars. As it is a known fact that a “typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.”

Let us come down to our own show. One of the things that also attract economic development to cities is beauty of those cities. Richard Florida in an article published in 2019 by Bloomberg CityLab titled, “The Beauty Premium: How Urban Beauty Affects Cities’ Economic Growth.” The Article corroborated a research that says, “The more beautiful a city is, the more successful it is at attracting jobs and new residents, including highly educated and affluent ones.” By the article, the writer thinks Beauty Premium is not only applicable to persons but cities as well.

So it will be baffling if a governor thinks that the capital that is fast growing should wear a beautiful look and someone thinks it is waste of resources. We all know the benefit of tourism. People travel to places to just see how those places look. It is a known fact that Adamawa is one of the ancient places with great historical significance; therefore coming to Yola should be a relieving feeling where the visitor will go home with beautiful images in mind wanting to come again.
Secondly, a good leader should be future looking; he must make plans to prevent impending difficulties that may come, looking at national data and statistics no right thinking leader will wish away the idea of building more roads in order to make free flow of vehicles easier. Governor Fintiri has been rightly informed of the increasing traffic congestion in Yola, as people are spending more time on the roads, he has taken a decision with foresight knowing fully that this is just now; if nothing proactive is done the state capital will be grappling with a challenge so huge in the future.

Let me recall a third quarter 2017 data of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which revealed that Nigeria has a total vehicle population of about 11,547,236 an increase of some 88,886 from the second quarter data of the same year. Fast forward to 2019, by second quarter of the year, NBS said there are over 11.8million vehicles in Nigeria already. This is has no doubt continued to increase day by day. So if Governor Fintiri thought of building a flyover bridge in the state capital, it is very timely and revolutionary.
It is understandable to criticize a thing if it is not understood. But a project that will be useful for many is always as clear as this one. If a government wants to get cheap popularity or even steal money, such government cannot put itself under the radar by embarking on projects that even a blind man will attest to it when it is done or not. Flyover Bridge is not just a necessity in the future but also a present need. The governor has a thinking cap on his head, no doubt about that, and he is positioned to transforming Adamawa State to take the state to the next level.

The third reason for this kind of projects is that it is the finest ways of job creation to the teaming unemployed youths, in the same bag a training opportunity for some smart youth to acquire skills that will help them in their future endeavours. Job creation is one of the cardinal responsibilities of any responsible government. The execution of big projects keeps a lot of unemployed people out of the labour market for a while. This will also have tickle down effect on the economy in no small measure.

Another thing to look at is the political good will that physical development especially township development brings to a place. Governmental and non-governmental organizations make infrastructural consideration in siting their important offices. No organization will inconvenience her precious workers where roads, buildings and other physical infrastructure is enough to bring stress and frustration.

What the Adamawa State Government is going to achieve by this novel project is going to be felt now but more later when Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri is far gone.

Therefore, let us support what will be best for the future and put aside a debate that is after all a good riddance to bad rubbish.

Felix Samari
Community Engagement and Human Right Writer/Communications Worker