Non-Governmental Organisations, Lagos Urban Development Initiative (LUDI), and other organisations have said that the use of bicycle and other Non-motorized Transport (NMT) systems would aid greater health equity across Nigeria especially in Lagos State where carbon emissions remain high.
Other organisations that joined LUDI in advocating that the country particularly residents of Lagos adopt NMT was the African Cycling Foundation and they stressed that cycling, walking and other non-motorized means of transportation would reduce the mortality rate in Nigeria, just as they appealed that the Federal Government set aside June 3rd annually as “Car Free Day”.
They reel out the benefits of cycling on Thursday at the World Bicycle Day celebration held at the JJT Park, Alausa, Ikeja which was also attended by Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) officials.
Speaking at the event, the director of LUDI, Olamide Udoma-Ejorh, noted that walking and cycling make one become physically active, saying the benefits of these modes of movements outweigh any potential harm that could arise from the systems.
Udoma-Ejorh described the modes of transportation as the most affordable that anyone irrespective of their status in society could at least afford and achieve their aim of moving from one location to the other.
She said: “Walking and cycling help to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, diabetes, as well as even death and active transport is not only healthy, it is also equitable and cost-effective.
“The bicycle contributes to cleaner air and less congestion and makes education, health care, and other social services more accessible to the most vulnerable populations. A sustainable transport system that promotes economic growth, reduces inequalities while bolstering the fight climate change is critical to achieving the goals of Lagos Stare as well as the Sustainable Development Goals”, the director added.
While arguing that globally, cycling has proven it’s the better mode of transport; affordable, environment-friendly, and healthy, the LUDI boss appealed that the Federal and State Governments should provide the needed facilities for Lagosians to cycle regularly.
She noted that the provision of paths for residents to walk and cycle would give Nigerians better air and reduce climate change effects as well as bring about a better environment across the country.
“Meeting needs of people who walk and cycles continue to be a critical part of the mobility solution in Lagos. This will help us de-couple population growth from increased emissions, and improve air quality and road safety”.
Earlier, the Programme Coordinator for African Cycling Foundation, Dennis Kange, stressed that there was a need for the governments to create infrastructures that would aid cycling and prevent accidents in the country.
On the Car Free Day initiative, Kange appealed that the government could introduce a law that on June 3rd annually, no one should drive any automobile rather, everyone should be made to either walk, cycle, or any other non-motorised means of transportation.