Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital territory, stands out as an exclusive city in Nigeria, as it was clearly planned from its inception. The city boasts well-designed road networks, a sophisticated lighting system, and other modern infrastructures that cater to contemporary living.
But still, the exemplary city is rapidly becoming a sister to Lagos as it’s slowly deviating from the master plan put in place to keep Abuja in shape. In the near Abuja will be a Lagos with just wider road and we are the cause
However, one prevalent issue in Nigeria, which affects public amenities and infrastructure, –Moral decadence! Who in his right senses would steal utilities put in place to better his life. Nigerians!! Unsurprisingly, these also extends its grip to the FCT.
There are a lot of wrongs in our society, but I would focus on the manholes in Abuja in this film. A manhole is an enclosed opening constructed underground to provide access to various public utilities such as sewer systems, electricity pipes, telephone lines, water pipes, and more. These manholes also serve to collect water and liquid waste, playing a crucial role in controlling erosion and flooding within the community.
Regrettably, the condition of over 90% of the manholes in Abuja is highly concerning. Most of them are entirely exposed and unprotected, lacking proper covers. Instead, they are either filled with sand and dirt or left completely vulnerable. This negligence has resulted in significant damage, not only to the roads but also to road users.
While Abuja boasts remarkable urban planning and infrastructure, the mismanagement and neglect of its manholes underscore a persistent issue faced throughout Nigeria. Addressing this problem is essential to preserving the beauty and functionality of the city while ensuring the safety of its inhabitants.
In addition to the inundated roads, numerous accidents have been triggered, leading to substantial damage to vehicles and injuries to numerous road users due to uncovered manholes. One such incident involved Femi Fallanah, a concerned road user who took legal action against the Federal Capital Development Authority in 2017. He experienced a severe accident when he unexpectedly walked into an open manhole in the Maitama district, as there were no warning signs in place to alert road users of the hazard.
The presence of waterlogged roads has created a perilous situation for motorists, making it challenging to navigate through flooded streets. As a consequence, accidents have become commonplace, leading to not only financial losses but also physical harm to innocent individuals who fall victim to these uncovered manholes.
The negligence of relevant authorities in maintaining the roads and securing potentially hazardous areas has resulted in a rise in such incidents. Femi Fallanah’s case serves as a glaring example of the consequences of inadequate infrastructure management. With no visible sign or cautionary measures around the uncovered manhole, he fell prey to the perils that awaited him during his routine commute.
Over 1700 out of 2000 manholes were estimated to be uncovered In the Federal Capital Territory. Over 300 out of 350 are within the Abuja Minicupal Area Council.
As a concerned Nigerian, I raise crucial questions about the state of manholes in our country: What has led to the current manhole condition? What action is the FCT taking to address this pressing issue? The Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) is tasked with ensuring safety and order in the FCT’s public spaces. What measures have they implemented to identify and resolve this menacing problem?
Even though these questions are answered, transparency and proactive efforts are vital in unravelling the cause of this manhole-related calamity and safeguarding the well-being of the Abuja populace.
after taking to the streets of Abuja to get people’s views and experiences on this matter, we discovered that over 7 out of 10 road users had fallen victim to a manhole injury or accident. What is quite surprising is the fact that even the most secured places within the city centre are also not spared from these appalling situations, these places are including but not limited to the Nigeria Police Force headquarters through the appeal court, the Federal Minister of Women Affairs, the presidential Villa, the National Assembly, The Eagle Square, and the office of the Secretary to the Federation.
Missing manhole covers are a microcosm of the Entire Nigerian system, the apathetic attitude shown by Nigerians towards public amenities results in the failure of our system and we urge the government to investigate this.
See video below..
By Ngozi Okonkwo