Stakeholders brainstorm on making Enugu-Onitsha highway smart road. Anambra Police Commissioner, NnagheItam lauds MTN Communications.


A conclave of security and safety agencies in Anambra State on Saturday, brainstormed on how to superintend the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway currently under reconstruction in order to make the dream of a smart road that would serve the people and economy of the area a reality.

The high profile meeting which took place at the Conference Room of Police Headquarters Awka, at the behest of Crown Crest Global Engineers (CCGE) Ltd, the Consultants to MTN Communication Nigeria Plc. on Quality Assurance, Quality Control and Community Liaison, was attended by the top brass of the various security and traffic management agencies in the state.

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The security and safety agencies that participated in the meeting, include the Police, Nigerian Navy, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Anambra Road Traffic Management Agency (ARTMA).

Welcoming participants, the Anambra State Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP Fidelis Ogarabe who represented the Police Commissioner, Obono NnagheItam, expressed immense gratitude to MTN Nigeria for funding the road project which he said had been a crucial factor since not everybody could afford to travel by air.

He pledged the support of the Police in Anambra State towards the actualization of the objectives of the summit.

The Coordinator of the MTN/CCGE/Community Liaison Initiative (CLI), Dr. Reginald Facah in his keynote address, enunciated the focus of the meeting which is bringing all stakeholders up to speed on the concept of a smart road and the expected roles of the various agencies in delivering a safe secure, standard and user-friendly road complete with all the modern technological accessories in keeping global standards.

His words: ”The smart road concept is the current trend in road traffic management and the Enugu – Onitsha road project being funded by MTN communications Plc. Promises to be Nigeria’s premier smart road where technological innovations would drive road and traffic management on the highway.”

Speaking further he said that: “In line with global best practices, the safety and wellbeing of road-users, adjoining communities and the entire citizenry capture the main focus in the design, construction and operation of the new Enugu-Onitsha Highway.

“MTN Nigeria as the funder has continued to demonstrate absolute commitment to delivering a world class project for the good of the people of Southeast and the Nigerian economy.

“Key elements that participants of this meeting must come to terms with include:‌user-friendly road, ‌absence of obstructions,‌ smart thoroughfare imbued with a security system that is compliant with the road-users desires, ‌deployment of technology and eco-friendly systems to enhance security as well as the ‌relevance of mobile patrols as against fixed security checkpoints. ‌

The foregoing paved the way for the lead paper titled: “Concept of Smart Road and Smart Policing on a Modern Highway,” delivered by a top brass from the FRSC, Deputy Corps Commander Regina Agbor Awasaam.

According to her, a smart road differs from every other highway in that it incorporates electronic technologies like autonomous vehicles, street lights, traffic lights, speed limit trackers, security camera systems, drones and ambulance services.

She noted that to build and operate a truly smart road requires a lot of investment on the part of government and cooperation of all relevant stakeholders.

The lead paper was followed by a robust discussion segment during which Navy Captain MD Jarma, Commander, Navy Base Onitsha; Deputy Corps Commander Okora A Awassan of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC); Chief Superintendent of Corps AguojiIfeanyi of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps; DC OkekeObinna. Director of Training and Emergency Response of the Anambra Road Traffic Management Agency (ARTMA); CSP Odumu Williams Operations Officer of the Nigerian Police Force, Anambra State Command and DCP Fidelis Ogarabe, Nigerian Police force, Anambra State Command.

Also in attendance was Dr. Reginald Facah MTN/CCGE/CLI Coordinator; ChinenyeOkwuosa, MTN/CCGE/CLI Enugu State and ChimezieIbedu, MTN/CCGE/CLI Anambra State

Issues bordering on the type and frequency of security checkpoints, traffic management, prevailing security situation and the need to put the well-being of road-users uppermost in operations were discussed during the parley.

The meeting arrived at the consensus for all the relevant agencies to work in tandem to make the road corridor safe, secure, efficient and convenient for usage by commuters and adjoining communities; even as the security agencies were of the opinion that for now and due to the security concerns in the Southeast, static road checkpoints would remain in place for now; but would be systematically replaced by the mobile patrol road security as the road project is completed in phases.

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