Tamunosiki had woken early enough on a Wednesday morning and assembled his fireworks (certificates) in preparation for a job interview at the Gas Free Zone. As usual, he boarded a bus and headed for his destination, but half way into his journey, shortly after the Shell gate at Rumuomasi, his vehicle got stuck in a terrible traffic hold up that lasted for more than three hours. And when he eventually got through to his destination, he had been marked absent by the interview panel after he failed to appear before it twice when his name was called to be interviewed.
Of course, Tamunosiki is not the only person who had suffered this kind of fate. Felix also suffered this kind of set back last May when he was invited for a business meeting in Warri. He lost the contract to supply some equipment because he could not beat the scheduled time due to a serious traffic-jam he experienced on his way at the Rumuokoro-Choba axis. Indeed a lot of man-hour have been lost as a result of the chaotic traffic situation on some of our roads in the Garden City, Port Harcourt, and this has been attributed mainly to the poor condition of some of the roads and inadequate link roads in the city.
It is in recognition of this fact that succeeding administrations in the state approved huge budgetary allocations to the sector with a view to opening new roads and expanding existing ones to contend with the problem of heavy traffic on our roads, but unfortunately such efforts vis-à-vis the jumbo allocations made annually have not been fully utilized to achieve the desired goals.
The present administration of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, on assumption of office have, however, been making concerted moves to change the trend and ensure that driving within the state is enjoyable. One of the early steps taken by the governor shortly after taking his oath of office, was to provide long term measures in the maintenance of roads.
This resulted in the massive road reconstruction experienced in the city.
Also government has been saddled with the construction of new roads and drainages within the city to ensure that the perennial problem of flooding in most parts of the city is tackled once and for all.
The traffic congestions however, noticed on some areas of the state capital can largely be attributed to the on-going construction of underground drainages and road constructions on some major roads.
Already individuals and organizations have been commending the present administration of Governor Chibuike Amaechi for the pragmatic steps so far in ensuring good and durable roads in Port Harcourt, and among them is Chief James Otonye, who gave kudos to the Governor for the quick action taken to save our roads total crumble. He says that driving within the city has become a lot more easier now, than it used to be with the rehabilitation and reconstruction of most roads within the metropolis and pleaded that the current attention should cover all the roads within and around the suburbs of the Garden City.
According to him, efforts should be made to open up new roads and ensure the early completion of on-going road projects so that the existing ones are not overstretched by heavy traffic, pointing out that such new roads would ease communication and movement and also check incessant hold-ups on our roads.
A commercial motorists, Mr. Magnus Ozurumba, expressed happiness at the current effort by the government in solving once and for all the problem of traffic congestion on our roads, and called for early completion of the various road projects in all parts of the state, particularly Port Harcourt.
He lauded the Rivers State Traffic Management Agency (TIMARIV) for wonderful performance, stressing that their effort had helped to reduce the effect of hold-ups which would have resulted in chaotic situation in some roads notorious for traffic congestion. He says their presence has helped to reduce tension and ensure free flow of traffic on the roads.
In his contribution on the need for good roads, Mr. Christian Minanyo hailed the present administration for its genuine move to transform the state through the construction of modern roads especially in the state capital, Port Harcourt.
Mr. Minanyo also expresses gratitude for the modern drainage system introduced in the state and urges the government to ensure a thorough job on the project and make sure that they are durable, so as to avoid flooding which have contributed to destruction of property and the destruction of roads.
“Contracts for such jobs should be awarded to reputable road construction companies that can execute and deliver solid jobs that can stand the test of time, rather than patronize incompetent companies, which end up delivering substandard jobs to the detriment of road users and taxpayers whose money is used to fund the projects”, he said.
He appealed for the construction of another flyover contract to be awarded for the Artillery Junction along Aba Road where traffic congestion is noticed most times and observed that the ring road project earlier promised by the erstwhile governor of the state, Dr Peter Odili, for the state capital be reconsidered for implementation to serve the interest of the people of the state and other citizens of this country who reside and do business here.