A message is circulating across social media claiming that the new Chinese traffic lights installed in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja are meant to generate Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the government.
The message reads ‘’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 licence or car papers renewal and if the amount is not cleared the car will be impounded’’.
Recently, there have been installations of solar-powered traffic lights across different parts of the capital city. The project is reportedly in partnership with the Federal Capital Territory Development Authority (FCTA) to curb the rate of road accidents within the city.
CDD Fact Checkers investigated the veracity of the message and found that it was first shared on a popular Nigerian blog, where the author claimed that he heard the words directly from a senior road safety official.
Note that in 2022, in an attempt 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 stated that the first phase of the project was completed in 2015 and that it brought significant improvement to traffic management in Abuja, it also improved traffic conditions, and reduced accident rates.
Bisi Kazeem, the spokesperson of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) confirmed that the purported message was misleading, adding that the commission will issue a press release in that regard.