See Moment Nigeria Switched From Left-Hand To Right-Hand Drive In 1972 (Video, Photos) – AutoReportNG
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See Moment Nigeria Switched From Left-Hand To Right-Hand Drive In 1972 (Video, Photos)



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Driving in Nigeria, one must drive a right-handed car. While many do not know that Nigeria originally started as a left-hand driving nation.

Nigeria officially switched to the right-handed vehicle on Sunday, April 2nd, 1972. The Federal Military Government of Nigeria cut off one of the British colonialists’ vestiges in transportation when the country abandoned the British styled left-hand drive to the right-hand drive which is common among the French, Germans, and the Americans.

Right Hand Driving

Nigeria’s first attempt to switch to the Right-Hand Drive was first announced in June 1967 but was disrupted due to the civil war that began in July of that year, the implementation of the programme was however postponed.

The reason for the change according to reports was that Nigeria was surrounded by countries with French colonial history who had always been on the right-hand drive, these include the Republic of Benin, Cameroon, Niger, and Chad.

Drivers from these countries used Nigeria’s ports and borders while Nigerian drivers delivered goods to those countries with much confusion. It made much sense to make that change.

So, if you wanted to drive from Lagos to Lome (Togo), you had to learn to drive on the opposite side of the road. Changing to the left simply made the journey easy. That was why Ghana had to change as well. The entire West African region is dominated by the Francophone countries and the need for a seamless transportation and business flow triggered the change.

The Chairman of the Commission on Right-Hand Traffic, Alhaji Babatunde Jose while responding to questions from the newsmen asserts that Nigeria seeks to gain the ease of transportation, especially for motorists who come from neighbouring West African States such as Chad, Cameroon, Dahomey and Niger, these are countries that had implemented the Right-Hand Drive and already started the implementation.

The plan which began in June of 1971 could not be enforced fully without the help of the Nigerian Police Force, State Governments, Federal Government, Nigerian Army, Navy, and Air Force which the commission under Babatunde Jose plan to make use of. The plan is to use the year-long as an introduction of the switch to Nigerians. Hundreds of specially trained traffic wardens worked in partnership with the police force to make the learning process a flawless one.

Alhaji Jose

A new edition of the Highway Code was published. Television programmes helped explain the new driving conditions for motorists. Radio and newspaper publications were also not left out. While the switch was presented as an economic measure, and ease of international driving to and from neighbouring countries, it was also emphasized as a means to decrease the alarming rate of road accidents.

Watch the video clips

Video Credit: NigeriaInVideos 

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