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1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The life wire of any nation is fundamentally tied to the fact that mobility and accessibility are essential to the achievement of social and economic goals. Before the advent of modern transportation system, man facilitated movement with the help of camel, horses and oxen which were domesticated to follow a particular track often created to link human settlements. These animals were used to pull loads on cart wheels, the first of which were developed by the natives of North America and later spread to Europe, India and China in 3000-4000 BC. The first organised omnibus public transit system within the city originated in Paris, France, in 1662. Also in 1769 Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot was credited to have built the first-propelled mechanical vehicle or automobile, by adapting an existing horse-drawn vehicle. By July 1826 the first omnibus was introduced into London. (www.http://inventors.about.com (21st March, 2012)).
The industrial revolution in the late 18th century paved way for engine propelled vehicles. The first buses to be powered by internal combustion engines were used in 1895 and, with the development of modern road transportation and technology, bus manufacturing have become globalised.
Similarly, in the pre colonial African societies, the demand and supply of transport was based on subsistence economy. Farm produce which was the mainstay of the economy was transported manually. With subsequent human evolution, and the advent of inter-regional commercial activities along the trans-Sahara routes, the use of camels in the savannah grassland and the canoes in the riverine areas came into existence. By 1860, commercial activities had commenced in the Niger Basin while the European trading activities operated along the coast lines of the present day Nigeria (Zaki 2010).
Following the desire of the British authority to maximally exploit the resources of the region, transportation of raw materials from the hinterland to the coastal area became very popular. The attendant economic activities in these regions gradually attracted movement of people from the countryside giving rise to the present day towns and cities.
The post colonial Nigeria economy experienced boom with high rate of urbanisation due to population increase. This resulted into increased demand for vehicular activities particular buses to convey people from one point to another. The phenomenal increase in population and city size was noticeable in most cities especially state capitals and local government headquarters. Adesanya (1994) asserted that the population of Warri grew at a phenomenal 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 the 1970’s and 1980’s. The rapid increase of population was accompanied by a rapid expansion of the metropolitan towns. It was predicted that for every additional 1,000 people, in developing cities, an extra 350-400 cubic transport trips per day would be generated. Similarly, for every additional square of city growth, an extra 500 public transport trips per day will be generated (UITP 1975 & 1979; Jacob et al, 1987). Furthermore, a city like Warri with a population of 9,113,605 in 2006 was projected to have about 12,252,970 million population by 2015 (FRN GAZETTE VOL 94). The resultant effect of this on transportation will create great challenges for government. While there will be need to reduce traffic congestion, air pollution and increased traffic-related safety, lose in productive man hour could negatively influence the socio-economic fabric of the urban society.
A cursory look at urban transportation services in Nigeria reveals that buses are the most popular mode due to mass movement of people, cheaper fare, high level of reliability, and safety. In view of its apparent advantages over other means, the Research will focus on the population as a major cause of traffic congestion in the sample area
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESAERCH PROBLEM
With a population of about 140 million from 2006 census and an average growth rate of 3.2% yearly, it is anticipated that Nigeria will have the population of about 189 million by 2015 (FRN GAZETTE VOL 94). The implication of this is that there will be high drift of young men and women from the rural to urban centres in search of livelihood. In view of the cosmopolitan nature of the Federal Capital City, and the concentration of commercial activities in Warri and other viable state capitals in Nigeria, movement into these towns in search of employment will be unprecedented. The demographic pressure occasioned by this drift may impact negatively on social infrastructure such as transportation system. Some other associated challenges occasioned by this development are traffic congestion, pollution, stress, emotional imbalance, depression, time hour loss, accident and economic loss to the individual and the nation in terms of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).As a developing economy, the only panacea to these numerous challenge is the provision of an integrated urban transport system that will be sustainable, popular and cost effective.
The general objective of this study is to evaluate the impact of Nigeria growing population and it effect on transportation system. In Warri for the past four years of operation and use the experience to mitigate transportation challenges of FCT.
1.3.1 Specific Objectives are:
i. To examine the effect of growing population on increase case of traffic congestion in Warri metropolis.
ii. To examine the effect of air pollution as a result of traffic congestion and over population in Warri metropolis.
iii. To determine the role of government in reducing traffic congestion and numbers of accident cases as a result of growing population in Warri metropolis.
iv. To identify the challenges confronting road transportation in Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja in Warri metropolis.
v. To make recommendations and develop implementation strategies to overcome road transportation challenges in FCT based on Warri experience in Warri metropolis.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The study will attempt to answer the following questions:
i. What is the effect of growing population on increase case of traffic congestion in Warri metropolis.
ii. What is the effect of air pollution as a result of traffic congestion and over population in Warri metropolis.
iii. What is the role of government in reducing traffic congestion and numbers of accident cases as a result of growing population in Warri metropolis.
iv. What are the challenges confronting road transportation in FCT in Warri metropolis?
v. What recommendations and implementation strategies can be suggested to overcome road transportation challenges in FCT based on the experience of Warri?
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research intends to look at the challenges that confronted land transportation in Warri metropolis between 2002 and 2012 and focus on the impact of BRT scheme in mitigating these problems since August, 2008. It will also examine the challenges of road transportation in Warri metropolis within the same period of time with the view to addressing these challenges based on Warri experience.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The importance and benefit of the study is to help policy makers formulate appropriate policies necessary for the improvement of the present road transportation system in the urban cities. It could also help managers in this important scheme of the economy to use the recommendations to improve on their managerial skills. The research is also to serve as contribution in literature to the body of knowledge for future researchers on the same subject matter.
Being a new programme in Nigeria, the research work was threatened by paucity of reference material. The delay and incomplete return of questionnaires constituted another limitation especially with the illiterate class of commuters in Warri metropolis. However, these limitations did not constitute serious hindrance to the quality of the research.
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