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The study examined the rural transportation system in Epe and its environment in Lagos State, Nigeria. The study made use of relevant and extensive review of literatures based on researchers’ and scholars’ opinions. The descriptive research survey was used in order to assess the opinions of the respondents using the questionnaire.. Based on the data analyses and the conclusion reached in this study, the following recommendations were made: The authorities, policy makers and transport authorities should carry out the followings recommendations. Improvement in rural feeder roads: This would reduce vehicle operating cost and increase savings from transport service delivery, Proper surfacing of the feeder roads using bitumen or asphalt in order to provide year-round access to the rural communities, Empowerment of Grass root Government- The need to empower the Grassroots government is of paramount importance owing to the fact that the construction and rehabilitation of most rural roads fall within the jurisdiction of the local government.
1.1 Background of the Study
Moving goods and people from one place to another is critical to maintain strong economic and political ties between regions in the same state. With a land area of 910,768 sq. km, population estimate of 150 million people and GDP-growth rate of 6% per annum (2006 est), the centrality of effective public transportation in Nigeria is readily seen. Nigeria‘s transportation infrastructure is in a dismal state and falls short of the countries it would like to be compared with. It is insufficient to meet the transformation agenda of the current administration, as a tool for achieving rapid economic growth and development [Walker, Gilbert James].
Globally Nigeria ranks low in the quality of its infrastructure which impacts the ease of doing business. Low investments in transportation have resulted in the current infrastructural deficit. Key challenges include inadequate investment and poor management of transport infrastructure – which have created a huge infrastructural deficit.
The government has adopted the use of Private Public initiative in alignment with global trends in transportation infrastructure development. Development of road infrastructure via the PPP model remains in the infant stages while that of rail is still in the conception/design phase. Only one successful example of concessioning exists in the Nigerian Aviation industry. Concession of seaports has been the most successful when compared to other modes of transportation in Nigeria. An enabling framework is critical to the success of the PPP models in transportation infrastructure financing and development.
South Africa‘s transport sector is a key contributor to its competitiveness in global market and is increasingly being seen as a crucial enabler of economic and social development. South Africa‘s transport infrastructure is considerably more developed than that of Nigeria, evolving over the years into what we can see as a transport sector that surpasses others in the Africa‘s sub region. Although the public sector is still the primary source of funds, South Africa is increasingly dependent on PPPs to finance the transportation infrastructure development. The PPP approach to infrastructure procurement and delivery entails a shift from the traditional government procurement model with emphasis placed on private sector-based service delivery and utilization of PPPs in procurement of infrastructure, even when government funding is required. Despite the picture painted, South Africa is not without its transportation challenges.
Comparing Nigeria‘s financing and procurement model to South Africa, there exists key differences and identifiable gaps in the Nigeria‘s model and thus appropriate recommendations to improve performance. What goals should Nigeria set for its transportation infrastructure? The future state of transport system is expected to be efficient, affordable, adequate, safe, well integrated and environmentally sound. In line with the realisation of these expectations and visions, specific goals should be set for transport mode. Potential investment opportunities for roads, rail, aviation, seaports and waterways must be effectively harnessed if our vision of achieving meaningful rapid economic growth and development is to be realised.
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 government has done much in the last fifteen years to improve the coverage of Nigeria‘s road system. One outstanding example is the work of the Directorate of Food, Roads, and Rural Infrastructure (DIFFRI), which in the late 1980‘s embarked on a campaign to construct approximately 60,000 kilometers of new rural roads. As can be seen from a tour of rural areas, many roads that have been constructed are in a terrible state of disrepair [Walker, Gilbert James]. As with so many things in post-oil-boom Nigeria, many rural (and urban) roads have not received adequate maintenance. Poorly-maintained roads are particularly problematic in the rainy season (approximately March to October). In fact, some rural areas are only accessible by car in the dry season [Gumel , H.A.]. July field trips on Epe 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 [Drummond-Thompson, Phillip,]. The slow rate of travel is necessary given the large and 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 form new dirt tracks. Other portions of rural roads have been reduced to one lane. The road network of the Epe is indicative of the poor state of maintenance of many rural roads. Even though a good network of colonial-era roads existed (partly due to the intensity of mining activity on the plateau), many of these roads have not been maintained in the post-independence period. Proper maintenance is critical because rainstorms can be tremendously intense. Thus, small areas of road decay can very rapidly expand under the forces of erosion and weathering in the rainy season. Much of the problems associated with the erosion of roadways 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 temperate 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 the early 1980‘s and implementation of a Structural Adjustment Program in 1986, state budgets have been extremely tight. Fiscal austerity has also been exacerbated by corrupt military regimes that have funneled state revenues into non-productive projects (often contracted to firms owned by military leaders) or foreign bank accounts. 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 public workers. The work of these brave maintenance crews notwithstanding, Nigerian urban roads can still be very rough. The important point to note is that aside from travel, poor urban roads can cause bottlenecks in traffic and contribute to traffic congestion [Walker, Gilbert James].
dominant fishes of Epe and Badagry waters, Lagos State, Nigeria as well as the
socioeconomic conditions of artisanal fisher folks in Lagos State were studied and analyzed. . Fishing activities within the community were found to be profitable. However, the relatively large family size maintained by most of the fishermen portend adverse effect ontheir economic growth and standard of living.
Provision of adequate credit facilities, social and fishing amenities including preservation and transport facilities in addition to enlightened fisher folks would enhance the socio economic status of the artisanal fishermen in the study area.
In the past three decades, the supply of fish in the Nigerian markets is steadily on the decline. This is largely due to the low catch levels of the traditional fishing techniques and other related factors.
Fish is a valuable source of complete protein with the most balanced amino acid profile (Olawusi-Peters, 2008,). The flesh of fish is similar to that of meat in structure, but contains a greater percentage of water. He further notes that fish is more easily digested than meat. Adeyemo (2003) also reported that fish and fish based products provide cheap but high quality protein compared to bush meat, poultry, pork or
beef. Apart from protein, fish also contains a wide variety of vitamins which include vitamins A, B (thiamine, riboflavin, nicotinic acid) C, D and E. Fish compliments meat as the cost of the latter is beyond what most Nigerian can afford (Adedokun, et al, 2006,Oladimeji et.al,2013). In Nigeria, the artisanal fishery covers operation of small motorized or non-motorized canoes by fishermen in the coastal areas. This provides jobs for over 400,000 fishermen in the coastal areas and members of their
families (Akegbejo-Samsons, 1997). Quite a sizeable proportion of the Nigerian population depends on fishing as a source of income. Apart from being an income earner to many Nigerians especially people in coastal, riverine and lake areas of the country, people earn their living from fish processing and marketing while others engaged in fisheries research (Soyinka and Kusemiju,2007; Bolarinwa, 2012).
The fisheries sub-sector of the Nigerian economy is made up of artisanal, industrial and cultured fisheries. The artisanal covers the operations of small-scale canoes, fisheries operating in the coastal areas, creeks, lagoons, inshore water and the inland rivers. The artisanal fishery is characterized by low capital outlay, low operational costs, low technology application and it is labor intensive (Adedokun et al., 2006, Bolarinwa, 2014).
However, Williams(2006) identified the fishery sub-sector as one of the untapped potential in Africa. The bulk of fishery activities in Africa and particularly Nigeria are carried out by small-scale fish farmers, perhaps this made the sub-sector accounts for an average of 4.87% of the Gross Domestic Product between the year 2000 and 2004 (CBN, 2004). This development contradicts the fact that Nigeria is blessed with abundant varieties of aquatic resources of several inland and fresh waters, lakes, rivers, swamps, flood plains and so on. It is equally against the backdrop that fisheries significantly contributes to the economy in terms of employment generation of 10 million people in Africa and food for over 20 million people in the world (Williams, 2006).
A major agricultural sub-sector where achieving food security has become elusive in Nigeria is the fish production subsector. Demand for fish in Nigeria stands at about 1.5 million metric tonnes per annum while domestic production is just 511,700 metric tonnes. The nation spends about N150 billion (US$1billion) annually to bridge the gap between supply and demand (CBN,2011).
Consequently, several policy measures have been put in place to stimulate local fish farming. Till date, the results from the colossal investment and policy have not yielded the desired results .Recent threats all over the world, point to a decline in landing for capture fisheries, an indicator that fish stocks have approached or even exceeded the point of maximum sustainable yield. From statistical data on fish production in Nigeria, production has declined from 1984 till date to less than 400,000 metric tonnes when compared with 508,000 metric tonnes in 1982. (FDF, 2008). Again there is a very high demand for fish in Nigeria with increase in population and income but there is a significant short fall between demand and supply to about 0.44million metric tonnes.
Food even more than clothing or shelter is the indispensable necessity of mankind. Despite various efforts to increase fish production, not much has been done to increase the productivity, profitability, activities, and problemsof artisanal fishermen in Lagoon water. Increase in fish production will contribute to the well-being of the economy as a whole as this will improve the nutrition of the nation.
Transportation in Epe Local government is by water through ferry services. Empirical evidences show that ferry service is grossly inadequate, unreliable and irregular in metropolitan Lagos, despite the abundant water ways (Egobi, 1999; Oni, 2004).The farmers transport their agricultural produce to nearby towns through ferry, Taxi/cab, Keke napep.
According to the Lagos State Regional Plan, (2005), travel by non-bus public transport (rail and water transport) has declined to less than 1.0% in Lagos despite their considerable potential. Water transport has a potential to become an attractive modes of transport for certain links.
Another mode of transportation by farmers is through various Trunk B roads maintained by state government which criss-crosses through Epe town to nearby villagesOdomola,Iraye,Poka,Noforija,Erodo,Odoragunshin,Igboye,Ilara,Mojoda
There is alsoTrunk A roads which link Epe town to Lagos; the regional governments were charged with the responsibility of maintaining Trunk B roads that link the divisional headquarters with the regional capitals .The situation in Epe Local Government Area is similar, the local town being Epe. The other settlements are about 311, including Agbowalkosi, Itoiki, Ejirin, Onisawasawa, Ubuja, Ipakodo and numerous others.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Rural transportation in Lagos State is still at the lowest ebb .Lack of maintenance of the roads by Authorities has turned most rural roads to death traps ,largely inaccessible for farmers and small/medium businesses to transport their goods to urban areas. This causes economic inactivity and loss in rural areas. This problem triggers massive Rural-Urban migration and population explosion in major cities like Lagos.This problem is contributory to unemployment problems in the city because would be farmers seek for white collar employment which they are not qualified. Lack of good access road in rural areas bring about poverty and lack of fulfilment amongst the rural populace.
The term rural transport services, has particular attributes that has made it a subject of special interest in research, policy and development planning. For the purpose of this research project, we refer to rural transport services as that continuum of transport activities and operations that connect rural households and farms to primary market centres with secondary rural markets and services centres, such as are found at the divisional administrative centres. Distinguishing features of rural transport systems as compared to urban transport systems is not only their infrequency, unreliability and high/km costs, but also their invisibility to policy makers
The issue of improving rural transport services is intertwined with other development challenges facing rural areas. These include:
Low densities and volumes of economic activities which leads to a weak resource base for financing improvements, Lack of innovation to bring forth new, affordable and appropriate transport technologies that are suited to rural operating conditions,
Absence of decentralized planning frameworks and therefore, weak institutional structures and partnerships for managing development -including transport services-in rural areas. About 60% of the road network is in rural areas, most of it is unpaved and is severely degraded owing to lack of maintenance. The length of roads in poor condition increased from 28% to 42% between 1994 and 1997.
Lack of transport services for the movement of goods and people is frequently identified as an important constraint to agricultural and rural development. Ex-post evaluations on rural road projects in Sub-Saharan Africa indicate a strong positive correlation between feeder roads and agricultural productivity.
An inadequate public infrastructure could result in massive losses to producers.
1.3 Aims and Objective of the Study
1. To evaluate rural transportation in,Epe and its environment.
2. To identify challenges in rural transportation.