A message has been shared on WhatsApp suggesting that some new Chinese traffic lights have been installed in the FCT that generate IGR for the government. The message added that any time a person beats traffic, the light records the number plate and shows the vehicle’s data then attaches a fine to the owner who is then charged to pay the accumulated amount during a driver’s license or car papers renewal and if the amount is not cleared the car will be impounded.
Fact-checkers at the Daily Trust sought to ascertain the veracity of the message and carried out a manual search. The finding revealed that it was first shared on a popular Nigerian blog and the author claimed that he heard the words directly from a senior road safety official.
Note that in 2022, in a bid to ease traffic and bring orderliness to Abuja roads, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) flagged off the construction of wireless-led traffic light control points at 98 major intersections in the territory.
The project is part of the donor project powered by the Government of the People’s Republic of China.
A report by China Railway Group Limited noted that the first phase of the project was completed in 2015 and that it brought significant improvement in the traffic management level in Abuja, improved traffic conditions, and reduced accident rates.
Speaking with the FRSC, the spokesperson, Bisi Kazeem, confirmed that the purported message was misleading, adding that the commission will issue a press release in that regard.
“Based on available information, we can confirm that the message in circulation is misleading,” he said.
Recently, there have been installations of solar-powered traffic lights across different parts of the city centre.
It is said that the project is being carried out in partnership with the Federal Capital Territory Development Authority (FCTA) to curb the rate of road accidents within the city.
Daily Trust went to various parts of the city and observed that the installation was ongoing on many streets of the territory.
Conclusion: After verification by Daily Trust, it has been clarified by the authorities that the traffic lights were not in any way installed to generate revenue for the government, as such the claim is misleading.