World Bicycle Day, designated by the United Nations and observed annually on June 3rd, recognizes the bicycle as a versatile, efficient means of transportation, bringing numerous benefits to individuals and communities worldwide. This year’s World Bicycle Day theme is “Riding Together for a sustainable future.
Cycling, a non-motorized mode of transport, offers numerous physical and emotional benefits. However, no sufficient safety infrastructures support non-motorized transport systems in Nigeria. Available evidence suggests that Nigeria does not have a notable national policy on the Non-motorized transport system, even though there has been significant advocacy and work in drafting for non-motorized transport policy. For these reasons, GreenLight Initiative called on the Nigerian government to prioritize non-motorized transport by implementing a framework and developing safety infrastructures that support non-motorized transport systems in Nigeria.
With the escalating concerns regarding fuel subsidy removal, climate change, pollution, and public health, GreenLight Initiative underscores the bicycle’s significant role in mitigating these issues. Cycling offers multiple advantages, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, combating air pollution, easing traffic congestion, and improving physical and mental well-being.
This year’s commemoration of World Bicycle Day in Nigeria coincides with the nation’s challenges posed by the removal of fuel subsidies. At this time GreenLight Initiative also encourages Nigerians to embrace cycling as an alternative mode of transportation as this will mitigate the impact of rising fuel costs and promote a healthier, more environmentally friendly way of commuting.
Nigeria, with its vast population and diverse geography, has immense potential to embrace cycling as a practical solution to fuel subsidy removal. The benefits of increased cycling participation go beyond reducing reliance on fossil fuels. It will foster a sense of community, enhance road safety, and inspire a culture of active living among Nigerians.
On this World Bicycle Day, GreenLight Initiative also calls upon the citizens of Nigeria to recognize the immense potential that cycling holds in building a resilient and sustainable nation. By choosing the bicycle as a primary means of commuting, Nigerians can actively contribute to reducing their carbon footprint, improving air quality, and enhancing their well-being.
As we embark on this transformative journey, let us celebrate the spirit of World Bicycle Day and embrace cycling as a symbol of progress, unity, and a brighter future for Nigeria and its citizens.
Registered as GreenLight Development Centre, GreenLight Initiative is a nongovernmental organization that promotes road safety, good health, and safe and sustainable mobility in Africa.
Simon Patrick Obi, Executive Director GreenLight Initiative.