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1.1   Background to the study

One of the inescapable basic needs of modern societies is transport which many scholars have identified as the arteries and lifelines through which national economic systems functions (Ogundare, 2010). Little wonder then that Munby (1968) said that “there is no escape from transport” Water transportation in Nigeria represent a complex structure in the country’s transportation system in many ways for it provides a number of inter related and inter connected activities (Badejo, 2014). It scores a distant second to road transport with an average share of about 1.6% of Nigeria gross domestic product i.e. internally generated cargoes, although water transport is slow and while unsuitable for passenger movement, an efficient coastal and inland waterways operation and system generally can minimize the pressure on a country’s rail and road transport infrastructure. The role of maritime transportation in the social, economic, political and historical development of nations be it a developed or developing one is undeniably very great. In fact, the history and progress of nations is closely interwoven with the degree of development of their maritime transport system where they exist (Badejo, 2014).  The case of Nigeria cannot be an exception. Without maritime transportation, Nigeria would have been Landlocked. And its economy would not have moved forward but remain stagnant in different areas and as such marine transport is of significant importance to and greatly influences the growth and development and growth of the Nigerian economy in several ways: It is a key sector in the Nigerian economy (Adams, 2002).

At the economy level, an adequate and efficient maritime transport system plays a key role in the development of a country’s market especially international trade by transforming local markets in to national, regional and international hubs. It permits economies of scale in areas that have promising comparative advantage with concomitant generation of huge employment opportunities (Badejo, 2014). Notably, maritime transport eases movement when compared to the problems experienced in other modes of transportation.

The perennial transportation problems in Lagos State has made commuting within Lagos city take double and sometimes triple the normal time required which adversely affects economic activities, reduces productivity, increases pollution (air and noise) and quality of life. The Federal and Lagos State Governments have made huge investments in transport infrastructural development in the State without a corresponding result in solving the transportation problems in the State. This could be partly attributed to the ‘mono’ transportation mode or concentration (road transportation) in the State. Hence, the need to diversify the transport sector in the State which has been described as a city of ‘Aquatic Splendor’ yet without any visible maritime transport sector. Cities are increasingly looking at new ways to expand their public transport offering. Development of transport networks on urban waterways is one method that is being

considered. Lagos is one such city with an interest to further develop its water transport

links to islands within the inner city and the more distant archipelago areas. This report

details the efforts of cities which have developed urban water transport networks for

passenger transport. Building on the work of previous studies in urban water transport, this

report seeks to further shed light on the impact of franchise contract arrangement in boat transport service operation, what they look like, what they add to a city’s infrastructure and transport network and how they are being used.  It is the hope that this report will be a useful resource to cities that are looking to implement new waterborne transport service, or expand existing small scale water transport networks to a larger scale. In order to define the scope of investigation and inform the selection of the cases that have been chosen, it is first necessary to explore the key characteristics of water transit systems.

1.2. Statement of Problem

Most Pacific economies comprise small islands dispersed over large stretches of ocean. The distance between and among islands, and the limited land area and local capacity to host and maintain airports, point to shipping as the main means of moving people and goods, accessing essential services, and harnessing vital socioeconomic resources and opportunities. However, voyages to remote, outer islands involve travel through open waters, requiring large vessels that are expensive to operate. These operations are not commercially viable. Remote island communities lack reliable maritime services and commonly pay high fees for ad hoc charter services. This limits access to social services and economic opportunities, which contributes to these communities’ high rates of hardship and vulnerability, and exacerbates the impacts of disasters and climate change. This policy brief examines the impact of franchise contract arrangement in boat transport service operation. Although outcomes appear positive, the experiences of both countries provide important lessons for the design and implementation of similar arrangements in the future.

1.3. Research Objectives

Aim and Objectives

The research will seek to examine the impact of franchise contract arrangement in boat transport service operation. The research therefore will seek to achieve the following objectives:

1. Identify roles of stakeholders in boat transport service operation

2. Identify how stakeholders can contribute to the provision of security in the waterways in boat transport service operation.

3. To examine the present situation of Boat transport infrastructures, facilities and operation

4. To examine Impacts of Franchising in Boat transport service operations

1.4   Research Questions

The research will attempt to answer the following questions:

1. What are the roles of stakeholders in boat transport service operation?

2. In what ways can stakeholders contribute to the provision of security in the waterways in boat transport service operation?

3. What are the Impacts of Franchising in Boat transport service operations?

1.5. Justification of the Study

The invisibility of isolated communities served by rural water transport has led to huge neglect of the waterways by policy makers and planners. Budgetary allocations both at the Federal and state levels on water transport are low compared to road transport. Also, there are implications for high levels of regulation resulting from the perceived lack of safety of water transport. In Nigeria, road transport is recent compared to water transport. However, Nigeria’s transport climate is presently dominated by mechanized vehicles plying the roads. Water transport which is important not just for its own sake, but because it has the potential to eliminate poverty and reduce isolation has been neglected, marginalized and de-prioritized. The study is therefore necessary at this point in time to raise the profile of water transport in the transport sector and among development planners in general and examining the impact of franchise contract arrangement in boat transport service operation. By increasing its visibility as an issue, contributing to new knowledge about the impact of water transport upon people’s mobility and access needs, and highlighting its potential benefits for the environment. The result of this study will further reveal that dependency on a single mode of transport, while other modes present lie untapped, would certainly not solve people’s mobility problems. But such mode, supported alongside other transport options in a complementary and integrated fashion can open the door to better mobility even for some of the country’s most vulnerable people.

1.6.     Significance of study

This research will enable the relevant authorities to understand the need for collaboration between the boat owners and other stakeholders, measure the level of impact of franchise contract arrangement in boat transport service operation and also how to draw modalities for collaboration in the following areas:

a. Security provision and enforcement of rules and regulation in water transportation

b. Design and building of suitable Boats.

c. The study will add to existing body of knowledge on the impact of franchise contract arrangement in boat transport service operation.

d. The research will also provide further research interest on the subject.

1.7.    Scope of the study

The scope of study will cover areas of collaboration between the boat owners and stakeholders

1.8. Definition of Terms  

Franchising: Franchising is based on a marketing concept which can be adopted by an organization as a strategy for business expansion. Where implemented, a franchisor licenses its know-how, procedures, intellectual property, use of its business model, brand, and rights to sell its branded products and services to a franchisee.

Franchise: A franchise is a type of license that a party (franchisee) acquires to allow them to have access to a business's (franchisor) proprietary knowledge, processes, and trademarks in order to allow the party to sell a product or provide a service under the business's name

Contract: A contract is a legally binding agreement that recognizes and governs the rights and duties of the parties to the agreement. A contract is legally enforceable because it meets the requirements and approval of the law. An agreement typically involves the exchange of goods, services, money, or promises of any of those

Boat transport: Boat transport is the shipping of a Boat to a destination instead of sailing or motoring it.

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