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1.1 Background of the study

High rate of unemployment, poverty and uncontrollable informal sector among others have led to more than proportionate increase in deviant careers, criminal activities, loss of lives and properties in most airports in Nigeria. As submitted by Fayeye (2007), poor economic growth coupled with high rate of corruption and mismanagement are some of the fundamental factors accounting for high rate of unemployment in Nigeria. This unemployment rate as further argued by Fayeye (2007) encouraged early morning gathering of unemployed youths around major urban roads, street and junctions discussing football and headings of newspaper to waste away their time. Salawu, (2009) maintained that the pull created by unemployment has pushed many individuals into forming gangs usually referred to as touts, whose activities revolve round the streets, bus stops, market, motor parks, and especially, the transport corridors. These touts hang around motor parks and most times claimed they are working for government especially the local government authorities. Realistically, most of these tout work for their Godfathers, Union Chairman and Garrison politicians (Lana, 2011).

Touts can be defined as workers at railway stations, airports, ferry points, and especially motor parks, who undertake the self-imposed responsibility of recruiting and organizing passengers who wish to travel by road and for this work they received a fee or more appropriately a ‘commission’ that is gradually paid by the drivers of the vehicles just before their departure (Okpara, 2005; 1998). Ikumola (2011) submitted that most of the touts are private entrepreneurs, who both compete and collaborate with one another to provide road transport for the public which most times generate unhealthy rivalry.

Obviously, these self-appointed passenger procurers are not public employees, although all the motor parks in which they operate are built and owned by the appropriate local government authorities. As opined by Lana (2011) most touts do not consider collection of Dues/ticket only economically viable, thus they help drivers/commercial car owners to get the necessary passengers, in order to boost their income per day.

Usually, as identified by (Momoh 2000 ; Ikumola, 2011) activities of touts are characterized by incessant fights over loading rights in the street, bus stops, motor parks (transportation corridors) and business districts. Similarly, the malevolent character of touts, relative groups and the destructive goals of their members, as revealed by the atrocity in the urban areas are noted for destruction of public peace. These atrocities are not only increasing in proportion but are lethally more devastating and sophisticated in organization. Reports of dastardly acts such as looting, killing, raping, acid bathing, thugery, exhortation, property destruction and stealing have become more rampant among touts in the metropolis. Till date, available police statistics report as revealed in the Nigerian (Tribune, August, 12, 2012) shows that there is a strong association between these so called touts and violence associated with criminal activities and lawful disorderliness in most urban cities.

The demand for transportation is inevitably higher per unit of time in the urban centres of any regional communications network than anywhere else. Land use planners’ creation for transport at certain nodes by designating relevant space as motor parks (Oni, 2007) which are supposed to constitute the official station of departure and arrival for most journeys, undertaker or by non-car owing residents of the community. Hence, for those living outside urban centres where such parks are located, these act by the touts caused them to be panic

and make them to be vulnerable to miscreant activities.

Thus, the motor parks constitute the major operational bases for touts and can be used to evaluate the relative importance of certain towns and villages as transportation nodes. The challenge of touts is also experienced in airports. Since there seems to be a direct relationship between urbanization and enhanced demand for travel on the one hand, and the incidence of touting on the other, (Okpara, 2007), it is hardly surprising that the latter is not a traditional enterprise. In other words, the unique brokerage services offered to both willing and unwilling passengers have evolved in response to fairly recent urban and related transport development (Mensah, 2008)

Earlier research on touting extensively focused on mode of operation see (Okpara, 2005: Lana, 2011) other focused on attitude and activities of touts along traffic corridors (Ikuomola et al, 2011; Iginla, 2007). Many other scholars review the relevance of theory of planned behaviour in explaining the development of touts (Agnew, 1992). Many other scholars examined how different cultural groups such as Oodua people’s congress, Agaba boys and Egbesi boys have metamorphosed into area boys and nuisance in major metropolis mostly in the public places See (Ikoh, 2010: Ekpenyong, 1999: Oloko, 2007).

1.2 Statement of the problem

A look at this research will show that several lacunas exist in the study of touting as airport menaces. While many researchers focus extensively on some of the activities of touts, little or no study has examined socio-economic background of these boys (Touts). Also many studies were silent on the formulation of touts in most airports

1.3 Objectives of the study

1. To understand the challenges of touting and pilfering on Nigeria airports

2. To understand the impact of touting and pilfering on the socio-economic development of airports in Nigeria

3. To recommend ways to curb the menace of touting and pilfering on Nigeria airports

1.4 Research

1. What are the challenges of touting and pilfering on Nigeria airports?

2. What is the impact of touting and pilfering on the socio-economic development of airports in Nigeria?

1.5 Research hypothesis

H0: Touting and pilfering does not have an impact on the socio-economic development of airports in Nigeria

H1: Touting and pilfering have an impact on the socio-economic development of airports in Nigeria

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