Transportation and the Movement of People in Nigeria some tentative notes By Brennan Kraxberger There is some variation by region

. This is at least partly due to income differe ntials between the North and the South. Since the Southern part of the country i s generally more prosperous, people typically have more budgetary income to devo te to transportation. Another indicator of this regional difference in the movem ent of people is the frequency of scooters and small motor-bikes in the northern part of Nigeria. Informal, intuitive observations in Jos and Kano (northern cit ies) and Abeokuta, Ibadan, and Benin City (southern cities) as well as discussio ns with Professors Mike Filani and Stanley Okafar at the University of Ibadan in dicate that scooters and motorcycles are much more commonly used in the northern half of the country. These observations on motorized bikes are also relevant to non-motorized bicycles. Rural people in the North are much more likely to rely on bicycles for part of their transportation needs. This reliance on bicycles is influenced by a complex set of economic, cultural, and environmental factors. A s mentioned earlier, economic inequality and poverty are more pronounced in the North, making bicycles much more affordable when compared with cars. Also, the p hysical environment of the North is savanna. Savanna regions have widely spaced trees and less dense undergrowth when compared with the forested regions of the South. These characteristics make the North more amenable to the use of bicycles . This is not to say that people in the northern part of the country do not make use of cars, only that they have a relatively greater reliance on bicyles for t heir daily transportation needs. With respect to road travel, it is important to evaluate the extent and quality of the road network. In terms of the extent of the road network, the federal gov ernment has done much in the last fifteen years to improve the coverage of Niger iaâ s road system. One outstanding example is the work of the Directorate of Food, Ro ads, and Rural Infrastructure (DIFFRI), which in the late 1980â s embarked on a campa ign to construct approximately 60,000 kilometers of new rural roads. As can be s een from a tour of rural areas, many roads that have been constructed are in a t errible state of disrepair. As with so many things in post-oil-boom Nigeria, man y rural (and urban) roads have not received adequate maintenance. Poorly-maintai ned roads are particuarly problematic in the rainy season (approximately March t o October). In fact, some rural areas are only accessible by car in the dry seas on. July field trips on Nigeriaâ s Jos Plateau proved these points well enough. Many rural roads in the Plateau region cannot be safely travelled at speeds exceeding 25 to 30 miles per hour. The slow rate of travel is necessary given the large a nd frequent potholes that mark the many rural roads. Certain stretches of rural roads are so bad that motorized vehicles have bypassed the original roadway to f orm new dirt tracks. Other portions of rural roads have been reduced to one lane . The road network of the Jos Plateau is indicative of the poor state of mainten ance of many rural roads. Even though a good network of colonial-era roads exist ed (partly due to the intensity of mining activity on the plateau), many of thes e roads have not been maintained in the post-independence period. Proper mainten ance is critical because rainstorms can be tremendously intense. Thus, small are as of road decay can very rapidly expand under the forces of erosion and weather ing in the rainy season. Much of the problems associated with the erosion of roa dways are compounded by the lack of adequate drainage infrastructure (which also makes driving hazardous during heavy rains). While Nigerians are not forced to address maintenance problems derived from recurrent freezing and thawing (like t emperate areas of the United States), they do have to deal with intense seasonal rain. Although urban roads are in better condition than most rural roads, maintenance of roads is also a problem in the cities. Since the collapse of oil prices in th e early 1980â s and implmentation of a Structural Adjustment Program in 1986, state b udgets have been extremely tight. Fiscal austerity has also been exacerbated by corrupt military regimes that have funelled state revenues into non-productive p rojects (often contracted to firms owned by military leaders) or foreign bank ac counts. Although almost all urban roads are paved (Nigerians often say "tarred")

, many have large pot holes or large sections where pavement has been eroded. An interesting scene in the city of Ibadan is the activity of informal road repair crews. Young men can often be seen filling city pot holes with dirt and rocks. In return for their unsolicited service, road users often tip these unofficial p ublic workers. The work of these brave maintenance crews notwithstanding, Nigeri an urban roads can still be very rough. The important point to note is that asid e from unconfortable travel, poor urban roads can cause bottlenecks in traffic a nd contribute to traffic congestion. Another issue that directly relates to urban transportation is city planning. Wh ile the extent and effectiveness of planning in Nigerian cities varies to some e xtent, most urban areas are forced to deal with city regions where no formal pla nning was conducted. Hence, transportation routes are often confined to pre-exis ting routes that may not always follow optimum courses. A dramatic example of pl anning done after development occurred in the city of Ibadan in the 1980â s. Under mi litary direction, city workers bulldozed swaths of houses and businesses, making way for new streets. While this action probably improved traffic flow in certai n parts of the city, it clearly violated the human rights of the people affected by the removal process. One final area will be discussed on the issue of urban transportation. It is tha t of cost of transportation. Relative to the early 1980â s when cars were relatively inexpensive, many people in Nigeria have trouble purchasing cars. As a result, t here is presently a thriving market in Nigeria for used cars, many of them impor ted from other parts of the world (like Europe). Given the cost of new cars (and imported used cars), many people fix cars that would be discarded in more afflu ent societies (see pictures of "Mechanic Village" in Jos). One other aspect of N igerian urban transportation is the notable lack of public transportation. While there have been several different programs and agencies established in the post -1988 period, government efforts to provide public transportation have been most ly failures. Thus, those without cars requiring long-distance urban transportati on are forced to turn to the private sector. Taxis, "danfos" (small vans that ho ld about 10-15 people), and scooters provide urban transportation for many urban residents. One final issue to consider with respect to cost of transportation i s the cost of fuel. It is ironic indeed that an oil-rich country such as Nigeria often has a scarcity of fuel. Twofactors contributing to a discontinuous supply of oil are the reduced production capacity of Nigerian refineries and price con trols imposed by the federal government. Low refining capacity means that Nigeri a often has to import much of its petrol. Artificial price controls have led to the expansion of a black market in gas, making it difficult to find gas in certa in places (especially the North) and at certain times. It now remains to say a few words about inter-regional and inter-city transporta tion. First, most internal transportation is via land. Internal air traffic is l ow relative to a country like the United States. Second, many inter-urban land l inkages are in good condition relative to rural-rural linkages. A STUDY OF THE F ACTORS MILITATING AGAINST PUBLIC TRANSPORT OPERATIONS IN NIGERIA Navigation: Main page » Automobile Information Print this page Submit articleComment article Author: AWOREMI, J. R., [Ph.D] INTRODUCTION Public Transport Operation and its Development in Nigeria: In Nigeria for the last 20 years the usage of public transport has been increasi ng very fast, due to rapid growth in population, city size, decline in personal mobility caused by scarcity of foreign exchange and severe import restrictions ( Filani and Abumere, 1992). In most cities, bus service and many forms of paratra nsit are playing dominant role in meeting the travel needs of the majority of th e populace especially the low-income groups. In response to the situation in rec ent years both public and private transport operations had been completely re-st ructured by the Federal government with considerable investment in the bus fleet

size. About 90% of the travel needs of the people are met by road public transp ort in most cities (Federal Ministry of Transport and Aviation, 1984; Bolade, 19 88). However the urban public transport sector is characterized by low growth ra te in terms of vehicles in use, passengers carried and route kilometers operated . The conventional bus operators were unable to meet the total demands of the tr aveling masses. By the late 1970's and the early 1980's some state's owned publi c transport companies (Lagos, Bendel, Kaduna, Kano) collapsed (Adeniji 1983; Eze ije and Bolade 1984) and those that survived were operating under serious financ ial and manpower constraints. Hence, they were providing skeletal and erratic se rvice in few cities. By 1987 the private sector operators were carrying more tha n 98% of all public transport journeys in Nigeria's urban centres (World Bank 19 90). Demand for Public Transport The phenomenal increase in population and city size is noticeable in most cities especially state capitals and local government headquarters. Adesanya (1994) asserted that the population of Lagos grew at a p henomenal rate of about 15% annually in the 1970's while those of Ibadan, Ilorin , Kano, Port¬-Harcourt and Abeokuta grew at between 10-20% annually in 1970's and 1 980's. Similarly, the population of Yola grew from 53,732 in 1963 to 156,978 in 1995 at a growth rate of 5% per annum (Ahmed, 1996). The rapid increase of popul ation was accompanied by a rapid expansion of the metropolitan town. Yola for ex ample grew from 325 sq kms in 1975 with a boundary of 5 kms to 650 sq kms in 198 4 with a boundary of 12 sq kms. It was predicted that for every additional 1000 people in developing cities, an extra 350-400 public transport trips per day wou ld be generated. Similarly for every additional square kilometer of city growth, an extra 500 public transport trips per day will be generated (UITP 1975 & 1979 ; Jacob et al, 1987). The urbanization and increased industrial and commercial a ctivities led emergence of many slums and several villages merged with the metro politan town leading to longer and more motorized trips. Another factor adding s ignificantly to the level of demand for public transport in Nigerian cities is t he low level of personal mobility. This generally created high demands for publi c transport (Dimitrious, 1990). In most West African cities, car ownership level averaged 5 - 15 per inhabitants (Barret, 1986). This is very low compared to ci ties of developed countries where there were an average of 20-40 cars per 100 in habitants (White, 1990). Personal mobility in Nigeria has declined tremendously due to high cost of vehicles and spare parts. Attempts in providing bus services to cope with the existing large and increasing demand have failed due largely t o financial mismanagement, inadequate subsidy to maintain fleets and service (Ad eniji, 1983b). Problems Associated with Public Transport Operations in Nigeria G enerally, when a transport company is established, it is expected to buy vehicle s among other things and set up an operating system, in order to fulfill the maj or objectives of the transport concern. There are three principal functions of t he 'operations ' of a typical bus company (Gubbins, 1988) namely; operating, mai ntaining and personnel management. But the principal functions of these operatin g systems are fraught with problem of Low fare policy, Insufficient Cost Recover y and Overstaffing which culminated in gross insufficiency. (a) Low Fares Policy The fares policy of any public transport undertaking is one of the important el ements of bus operation that can affect patronage as well as revenue generation. Publicly owned passenger transport undertakings, are often established for vari ous reasons among which are economic, social and welfare but the ultimate is alw ays to assist in alleviating the mobility and accessibility problems of the poor urban masses. Most mass transit companies through government directives were ma de to implement low fares policy, notwithstanding the rising operating costs and none-provision of operating subsidies. The effect was that many mass transits r educed the size of their intra-urban services, and concentrated on the lucrative inter-urban services, thus partly defeating the objective of solving intra-urba n mobility problem. With regard to private sector operators, the issue of unnece ssary and excessive fare control had always been their source of contention with the government. They usually argued that the fare levels were insufficient to m ake them break-even (Umar, 2005). (b) Insufficient Cost Recovery Most publicly o wned bus undertakings have very low cost recovery ability because of several rea sons which include among other; low level of fleet utilization; high rate of veh

icle breakdown and grounding due to the unavailability of vital vehicle spare pa rts and low fare policy. A survey carried out in 1996 showed that the revenue-co st ratios of the sampled four mass transit agencies were low. All the companies excluding one were operating at a loss for the period of time considered (Adesan ya, 2002). (c) Overstaffing Many of the mass transit companies in Nigeria are fa ced with the problem of overstaffing. Research findings showed that the rising l evel of staff per operated bus was a result of massive or generous employment po licy, with a reflection of low vehicle turnout (Adesanya, 1994). The economic an d operating efficiency of bus undertakings is dependent upon a multiplicity of f actors (Armstrong, 1998). Sometimes a few of these factors and their effects on public transport operation are inextricably intertwined. For instance, the low f ares policy of public owned mass transit undertakings coupled with low vehicles turn-out may result in the over utilization of the available serviceable vehicle s. This situation increases the risk of further vehicle breakdown and even lower vehicle turnout. This may lead to possible erosion of the revenue base of publi c transport undertakings and the lowering of their productivity. Urban Mass Transport Operations in Nigeria The urban transportation problem aris es principally because of high concentration of population, economic activities, and educational and social facilities in relatively small areas, particularly w ith poor land use planning. These activities generate demand for transport servi ces far in excess of supply of such services (Bolade, 1993). Arising from this, the Federal Urban Mass Transit Agency (FUMTA) was established in 1988 as Governm ent response to the mobility crisis arising from the gross inadequacy of the var ious modes of public transportation in virtually all the urban centres in the co untry. With the adoption of Structural Adjustment Programme in 1986, the cost of procuring vehicles, spare parts and fuel rose astronomically, to the extent tha t many car owners abandoned their cars and the demand for public transportation increased (World Bank, 1990). On the side of the transport operators, there was an equally rapid decline in the acquisition of new buses and the few buses that were available could not cope with the demand problem above. The rail system cou ld not help much because the NRC was ill equipped for urban mass transportation. Ferry services in the riverine areas could not help because it only existed in Lagos and Port Harcourt. It is sad to note that none of the major cities had an effective traffic management system, thus, the Task Force on Urban Mass Transit was therefore established in January 1988 to ameliorate the frustrations and har dships being experienced by workers and communities in all the major cities. Thi s was backed up by a proposed budget of N700 million for implementation of vario us urban mass transit projects. The report of the task force, which was presente d on March 4, 1988, contained recommendation on programs and projects designed t o relieve the situation and institutional machinery for implementation. A Mass T ransit Implementation committee was formed on late March under the chairmanship of the then Minister of Transport. The committee was dissolved in September 1988 and a sole Administrator was appointed to continue with the implementation proc ess under the Federal Urban Mass Transit Programme (FUMTP, 1989). The 1988 Feder al Government intervention further drew inspirations from such Federally organiz ed nations like Federal Republic of Germany and the United State of America. In these later countries, the development of strategic urban heavy transit system s uch as the metro lines, bus ways, and public transport improvement measures in t he bigger metropolis are often financed with Federal grants (Bolade, 1993). Strategies for Solving Urban Transportation Problems in Developing Countries Transportation planners in developing countries face a number of problems "that require innovative solutions." Large increases in urban population and pollutio n have seriously compromised existing transportation systems and significantly i ncreased the challenge of creating future transportation systems. And "despite e xtensive spending on urban transportation systems," the problems "seem to only g et worse." Razat Gaurav, Ernst & Young LLP, and C. Jotin Khisty examined these problems an d their potential solutions in "Urban Transportation in Developing Countries: Tr ends, Impacts, and Potential Systemic Strategies," a paper prepared for the Tran

sportation Research Board's 77th Annual Meeting (January 1998). They concluded t hat "a more holistic approach . . . would be very essential" in tackling the pro blems. The authors suggested three policy strands involving practices, innovatio ns, and sustainable development and emphasized that "together they [the three st rands] could substantially reduce the economic, environmental, and social costs of some of the negative trends and impacts" of urban transportation systems in d eveloping countries. In addition, the authors cautioned that developing countrie s would be wise to learn from the mistakes made in developed countries such as t he United States and to develop solutions specific to their own needs, as oppose d to simply copying approaches used by developed countries. URBAN TRANSPORTATION TRENDS The authors noted that the complex urban transportation problems in developing countries "are triggered by certain trends," all of them interrelated. Urban pop ulation growth is one such trend. For example, "in 1995, approximately 45 percen t of the world population lived in urban areas; by the year 2025, this figure is projected to go up to 60 percent." And "a staggering 90 percent" of this growth will occur in the world's developing countries, primarily in Africa and Asia. Growth in population naturally causes growth in car ownership, and while "car o wnership levels [in the developing countries] are far lower than the developed c ountries at present, . . . it is in these developing countries that the greatest growth rate[s] in motor vehicles have been seen in the past few years and are e xpected in the future," primarily in urban areas. In Asia, most of this growth s tems from the increase in vehicles with two or three wheels. Rapid growth rates of these vehicles are also expected in China and India. The mobility and afforda bility advantages of these vehicles are diminished by their pollution disadvanta ges, notably high levels of "carbon monoxide and unburnt hydrocarbon emissions." An increase in public transit systems seldom accompanies this growth in populat ion, mainly because of high capital costs and "urban form." A city's form "great ly influences and is influenced by travel patterns (the classical land use-trans portation cycle)." The authors noted "that the development of urban form has bee n one of the root causes of many transportation problems throughout the world." The rapid, unplanned, and uncoordinated growth of cities has dispersed their pop ulations, with more people moving from the city centers to their "urban peripher y." This dispersion reduces access to public transportation and makes the cost o f building and maintaining new public transportation systems prohibitive. Overal l, "non-motorized modes of transportation even in the urban areas of developing countries can only remain viable options if there is a suitably high population density and a mixed land use development pattern." IMPACTS OF THE TRENDS The environmental and social impacts of these trends are significant "because t hey are directly related to quality of life and urban productivity." These impac ts include congestion, energy consumption, air pollution, and traffic crashes. T he authors noted that "congestion is perhaps the most visible manifestation of t he failures in urban transportation planning," and its costs are significant. Fo r example, in Bangkok alone, yearly congestion cost estimates vary from $272 mil lion to more than $1 billion. In terms of traffic crashes, "in general, motorize d urban traffic and pedestrian accidents form a higher proportion of accidents i n developing countries than in developed countries." For example, "in 1993, an e stimated 885,000 people died in traffic accidents," and "the majority of these d eaths were in developing countries." In addition to the "huge amounts of energy" transportation consumes, "motor veh icles produce more air pollution than any other human activity." In city centers , where traffic congestion levels are high, "traffic can be responsible for as m uch as 90 to 95 percent of the ambient carbon monoxide levels, 80 to 90 percent of nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons, and a large portion of the particulates, po sing a major threat to human health and natural resources." Lead emissions from the combustion of leaded gasoline also cause "an estimated 80 to 90 percent of l ead in ambient air." In response to the health threat posed by lead, most develo ped countries have reduced the lead content in gasoline, but in most developing

countries, "ambient lead levels greatly exceed the health standard." These emiss ions have a global as well as local impact: "The transportation sector is the mo st rapidly growing source of greenhouse gas emissions-- that is, emissions of ch emicals that have the potential to contribute to global warming." STRATEGIES AND CONCLUSIONS The authors emphasized that "urban areas in developing countries require new ap proaches to addressing their transportation problems." These countries must make these approaches "city specific," even for cities within the same country. In a ddition, they must realize "that solutions designed for cities of developed coun tries cannot directly be applied to the urban areas of developing countries." Ho wever, developing countries can and "should learn from the mistakes already made in developed countries (like the United States) where unbalanced transportation systems are exacting enormous costs." Developing countries must also acknowledge "the interrelationships that exist b etween different urban trends and impacts." Addressing problems in isolation "wo uld not be very effective because of the complex and whole nature of the urban t ransportation system." Interrelated problems require "integrated strategies" imp lemented over time, from the immediate and short term to the gradual and long te rm. With these factors in mind, the authors suggested three policy strands. The fir st, known as "Best Practice," involves using "the best techniques that have been tried and shown to be effective." Such techniques include using cleaner fuels, retrofitting engines, improving existing public transportation, coordinating int erdepartmental efforts, and enforcing stricter traffic rules. The second strand, "Policy Innovations," includes managing traffic and travel demand, forming publ ic-private partnerships, and using traffic calming and alternative fuels. The "S ustainable Development" strand involves promoting non-motorized modes of transpo rtation, integrating land-use and transportation planning, expanding public tran sit, inspecting and maintaining vehicles, increasing education levels, and contr olling urban population growth. The authors concluded "all three strands would be needed to meet some of the ch allenges that are facing transportation planners in urban areas of developing co untries"; however, time sequences and approaches are flexible and adaptable to v arious urban areas. In other words, "each city would need to develop its own ver sion of these policy strands." Overall, "a coordinated effort with plenty of com munication between the different governmental departments and stakeholders could go a long way in addressing the challenges that large cities in developing coun tries are experiencing."