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Towards a cleaner, safer Jos/Bukuru metropolis

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It is often said that a healthy society is a wealthy one. This, no doubt, has informed governments’ pursuit of ways and means of ensuring that basic facilities are provided for the enjoyment of the citizenry.

To achieve cleaner, safer societies, governments have overtime built institutions to help them attain this goal. That is why Donald Duke of Cross Rivers State won national acclaim when he made Calabar not only the cleanest city in Nigeria but the hub of tourism.

Unfortunately, after he left office, his predecessors were not able to sustain the momentum and the once beautiful city lost its place as the cleanest to its next-door neighbour, Akwa Ibom.

It is in this regard, that THE NIGERIA STANDARD commends the Jos Metropolitan Development Board, JMDB, for relentlessly pursuing the restoration of the Greater Jos Masterplan and the return of the lost glory of the city.

The distortion of that original plan had resulted in the springing up of many slums, thus denying tourists the opportunity to appreciate the picturesque and captivating landscapes of the city and environs.

We urge JMDB and her sister agencies to go the whole hog and ensure that the city is given a facelift so that we can truly earn that sobriquet of being the Home of Peace and Tourism.

A situation where virtually all our streets are turned into motor parks is unacceptable and cannot be allowed to continue. The streets must be organized in such a manner that all and sundry would enjoy plying them without having to look over their shoulders.

It would not be out of place if JMDB liaises with the authorities of the local government areas that make up the Greater Jos Masterplan to create local markets so that the streets are cleared of traders who do their business on the roads, thus putting their lives in danger.

Indeed, the restrictions placed on heavy duty vehicles from plying the streets during the day is a welcome relief to all. It has not only reduced the number of accidents on our major roads and streets but would certainly ensure longevity of some of our road and other infrastructure.

The manner in which some of these drivers conduct themselves seems to confirm the widely held view that some of them take drugs before setting out on their journeys.

Once upon a time, the Joseph Gomwalk Way to the Polo Roundabout had become a dead trap so much so that the House of Assembly had to make a pronouncement on the usage of that road by articulated vehicles.

The JMDB, therefore, needs to create special areas for these vehicles so that their drivers would have places to freshen up before they continuing on their journeys. That way, JMDB would be attracting the much-needed revenue into government coffers.

In addition, government should acquire buildings in adjoining streets to the Ahmadu Bello Way to build modern parking lots so that parking of vehicles on that ever-busy street would be stopped.

This can be achieved through some kind of partnership with private individuals or corporate bodies. This will also increase the state government’s Internally Generated Revenue.

Indeed, JMDB must start thinking of planting trees on our streets to provide shades like it used to be in the past. Jos city used to have trees lining the major streets comparable to what obtains in Dakar, Senegal.

But, sadly, that is no more the case. These trees not only gave shades but help in restocking the oxygen needs of the city, thus contributing to replenishing the much depleted ozone layer.

An editorial of The Nigeria Standard newspaper, Wednesday, May 15, 2024

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