CONTRIBUTION OF TRANSPORTATION TO THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC GROWTH OF NIGERIA: CASE STUDY IMO STATE TRANSPORT COMPANY CHAPTER ONE BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Transportation is an act of conveying people, goods and services from one location to the other. According to Clement A.U. Ighodaro, transportation has been considered to be a rational way of achieving an economic man’s reaction to varied economic spatially scattered to foster economic differentials and development between different areas. 1
Road infrastructure is an important requirement that facilitates industrial, agricultural and socio-economic development. Inadequacy and poor road infrastructure are evident in rural and urban transport system and this to a very large extent have hampered economic and social developments; and increases the level of poverty. However, urban areas have been given more attention than rural areas as regards road infrastructure because of the economic and social benefits of the urban areas. As a result of the poor road infrastructure in rural areas of Nigeria especially Imo state, most vehicles and transport companies do not ply or use these rural areas as routes rather, they prefer using the urban` areas because using these rural areas as routes to their various destination would most probably damage their vehicles, cause untold accidents or worst-still delay their time of getting to their various destination; as time is very essential to transport companies. The transport companies in Nigeria are divided into two: public bus and private bus. Public bus enterprise in Nigeria are either owned by Federal, State, or Local Government prior to the introduction of the Mass Transit Programme in 1988, and it is this public bus enterprise that Imo State Transport Company (I.T.C) falls into the first generation of public bus enterprise operators came into existence shortly after Nigeria’s political independence and they include Ibadan city bus service which collapsed in 19762. Many more of state-owned bus transport undertaking established in early 1970s collapsed in the second half of 1970s and early 1980s and these include kano state transport corporation, operating then as kano line, kwara state transport corporation, operating then as kwara line, and plateau state transport corporation among others; some of the reasons identified for their collapse are:
Inadequate government financial support
Lack of qualified staff to man their operations
Political interference, and
Uncontrolled competition from para-transit operators3.
The few municipal bus undertaking that survived until 1988 when the Mass Transit programme was introduced included Water line, Bendel line, Borno Empress, Kaduna state transport corporation and Imo buses, although many of them were actually operating through skeletal service at that time.
Since 1988, virtually every state government in Nigeria has established its Owo transit undertaking in the provision of public transport services. While, state and Local Government public transport service were relatively more organized, some of the private bus operators were largely unorganized and depended more on fare revenue and financial supports from informal sources such as friends, relatives, money lenders in order to finance their operations except for new generational private buses operators such as good is good motors (G.I.G), ABC transport, Edegbe, Young shall grow, Ifesinachi motors etc, many government owned mass transit companies in Nigeria particularly Imo state transport company have trained staffs, workshops and maintain facilities than some of private bus operators. Their service, public bus enterprise, are often provided on fined routes and are usually cheaper than those provided by private sector bus operators. Most government owned bus undertaking have bus service schedules or time tables, but in practice, they are seldomly followed because of the inadequate vehicles, declining fleet utilization rates, growing competition with private and para transit operators, poor traffic management, congestion problems especially during peak travel periods such as festive periods and other problems associated with the operating environment.
The level of public transport provision in many states in Nigeria particularly Imo state is very low. Public transport supply cannot cope with the demand and this is due to rapid urbanization and the increasing economic activities in these states which makes it difficult for the transportation on need of the people to be fully satisfied. The advantages of public transport are many, among them are:
Cheaper rate of fares
Owned by government
Public transport has proved to be an effective tool in combating congestion due to the numerous vehicles available to it from the Federal, State or Local Government account. Because of the numerous advantages of public transport, many state governments, Imo state government inclusive, are now aware that for their state to be more productive, improving public transport should be one of the most pressing items on their agenda. In states where public transport is provided, the need to make their operating functional in order to satisfy the mobility needs of the people also becomes important. This relates to provision and sustenance of effective. This relates to provision and sustenance of effective service and the planning of public transport operation.
Public Transport Situation in Nigeria
Transport problems since the last two decades have been serious. These problems are been caused by the influx of population into the urban centres, growth in industries and the inabilities of transport companies to provide enough vehicles and facilities to cope with the ever growing population. The problem manifest in terms of long waiting time for buses, traffic congestion, parking problems and accidents. There is a general shortage of public transport service in Nigeria relative to demand. The public owned transport operations in the few states where they exist are inefficient and the private operators of para-transit transport system are substandard and disorganized. Public transportation in Nigeria has also been dominated by private bus operators. These private entrepreneurs operate in an uncontrolled manner as they are not fully regulated by the government and sometimes they provide exorbitant transport fares. Usually, no clearly defined routes are plied by these private operators who are essentially demand responsive. A World Bank report revealed that in 1987, more than 98 percent of all urban public transport journeys in Nigeria’s urban centres were provided by private operators. In the early 1980s, the number of government owned public transport that operated urban centres where more in Lagos, Kaduna, port Harcourt; although several other state owned corporations in Kwara, rivers, Oyo and Edo states operated urban services in the past; these companies either ceased urban operations or closed down.
Public transport provision in Nigeria began to decline sharply with the introduction of various economic reforms by the Federal Government. With the adoption of the Structural Adjustment Programme (S.A.P) in 1986 by Gen. Ibrahim Babaginda, the cost of producing spare parts and fuel rose astronomically to the extent that many car owners abandoned their cars and the demand for public transport increased. There was a rapid decline in the acquisition of new vehicles and the few buses that were operational could not cope with the situation registration of vehicles in Nigeria including public transport vehicles experienced a declining trend from 1981-1989. The demand for public transport also increased during this period as the few private transport service that remained excessively increased their transport fares. Also, Federal Government expenditure on transport between 1971 and 1990 witnessed a significant decline. Federal Government expenditure on transport fell from an annual average of about N60million in 1971-1980 to about N50million in 1991-1998 and further fell to N30million in 1991-19984. As can be seen from table 1.0, below, the total Federal Government transport expenditure as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was a mere 0.2 percent in 1991-1998 against a figure of 0.8 percent average for road transport alone.5 By 1988, mobility problem of government owned transport services in Nigeria had reached its peak; this was exemplified by inadequacy funded and deficient public-owned transport operators, proliferated, disorganized, and uncontrolled para-transit operators consequently, the Federal Government introduced the Federal Urban Mass Transit Program for the purpose of ameliorating the situation in 1988.
Table 1: Average annual federal government expenditure on transport.
S/N Expenditure 1970-1980 1981-1990 1991-1998
1 Total F.G.N transport expenditure in 1983 price (N 3,332.0 769.2 216.4
2 Share of recurrent (%) 4.5 23.9 36.1
3 Share of capital (%) 95.5 76.1 63.9
4 Expenditure on transport as % of total F.G.N expenditure 9.7 2.4 1.5
5 Expenditure on transport as % of G.D.P 3.1 0.9 0.2
6 Expenditure on transport as % of total F.G.N expenditure on economic sector 45.9 18.4 11.0
Sources: 1 (BN statistical bullentin/IMF’S (1970-1996) 2. Jimoh (2004)
The main objectives of the urban mass transit program introduced in 1988 were:
To alleviate the problems of urban commuters and the general masses
To lay the foundation for organized mass transit in Nigeria and
To over-see the national urban transit system, using the budget allocation mechanism.
The introduction of this program served to reduce the overriding gap between the increasing public transport demand and the decreasing supply in the transport market. Till date, about all states in Nigeria and the federal capital, Abuja, have benefited from the federal urban-mass transit program. Although, the existing level of service provided by most state transport corporations is not completely satisfactory, the mass transit service has gone a long way to alleviate the transportation problems of urban dwellers in Nigeria. But for effective services to be provided and sustained by the mass transit establishment, careful planning for their operation is necessary.
Public Transport in Imo State
Imo state is one of the thirty-six states in Nigeria. The population of the state is about 3,934,8991 by the 2006 census supplied by the National Population Commission and a projected population of 4,215,473 (Imo state statistical year book, 2007) by 2009. Imo state is one the largest Eastern states in Nigeria with a land mass of about 2,140 sq and a total area of 5,530km. Imo state was created on the 3rd of February 1976 by the then military head of state, Murtala Mohammed, from the former East-Central State. The state is economically buoyant having a G.D.P of N4.21billion as at 20076, the state is also rich in natural resources and its major cities are Owerri, Orlu and Okigwe; the state has a remarkable socio-economic diversity. In recognition of the place of transport in the spartial and economic-social growth of the state, government has accorded its special attention through the provision of transport infrastructural facilities and the encouragement of public transport owners. But due to the increasing population growth in Imo state, the demand for public transport has continued to grow significantly, thus it has been difficult for both private transporters and the government to meet the transportation needs of the people.
Public transport provision in Imo state has the same experience as that of the country at large. There is shortage of public transport service relative to demand, and the private sector operators of para-transit transport system run a substandard and disorganized service. Only a few private operators in Imo state own very large fleet of vehicles for both intra-urban and inter-urban services such as, Good is Good Motors, ABC transport Shuttle Service, Chisco transport Nigeria limited, Imo state mass transport company, Impex World wide Empress, Young shall Grow motors, Bestway transport limited, Imo travel and tours etc.
Inspite of the efforts of the private sector operators at providing transport service in order to meet the ever increasing demand for them, the changing economic situation in the country and the impact of the structural adjustment program in 1986 stated to manifest on their operations. Between 1985 and 1988, the number of vehicle registration in Imo state reduced from 2806 to 22807. This marked reduction was particularly evident in the public transport sector all over the country. It was in response to the importance government attached to urban public transport in Nigeria and the evolving urban mobility crisis of the mid 1980s that the federal urban mass transit program was initiated in 1988. It is important to note however that the introduction of the mass transit system in Imo state dated back to the period of 1988 under the governorship of Amadi Ikwechegi, 1986-1990, when the government introduced Imo state transport corporation which is now formally called Imo state transport company.8 The system was established principally to operate intra-city and inter-state routes respectively from the state capital to all parts of the country, since its inception, Imo state transport company have faced series of challenges such as:
Inadequate and poor management
Unguaranteed salaries of workers or rather civil servants at the end of the month
Excessive bureaucracy leading to delays in decision making and policy implementation
Employment of mediocre staffs.
In line with the objective of the federal urban mass transit program, Imo state transport company was created by the Imo state government in 1988 and it began business in August 1988. The corporation was charged with the responsibility to establish, operate and coordinate effectively and efficiently the transportation service of Imo state, movement of people and goods within and outside the state. The corporation was also to see to the operation and management of the federal allocated and state-owned mass transit service.
Aims and Objective of the Study
The aims and objectives of this study is to:
Analyse and itemize the contributions of Imo Transport Company to the socio-economic development in Imo state and the extent to which they have actually contributed.
To analyse what is actually expected from them, I.T.C, aside the transporting or conveying of people and goods from one location to another.
To be a guide to both government and private individuals who wishes to embark on the transport business and also a guide to transport companies for improvements, so as to carter for high demand of transportation and be more responsive to the mobility needs of the people.
On the other hand, the objective of this work will be to examine the operations of Imo state transport company, Nigeria, and how it has added to the socio-economic growth of Imo state with a view to improving the service vis-à-vis making transport provision more responsive to transportation demand.
Scope of the Study
The scope of this study centres on Imo state and the transport service owned by the state government, Imo state transport company, from a period of 2000-2010, a decade, and how this transport company have contributed to the socio-economic growth of Imo state
The study used both primary and secondary data in the actualization of this work. The primary data relates to information generated through field exercise. While the secondary data relates to every information collected from books, magazines, journals, articles, pdf files, Wikipedia and the administrative record of I.T.C.
The primary data consisted of interviews administered to a sampled number of commuters and personnels of I.T.C. While some of the secondary data obtained from the administrative record of I.T.C include: its origin, traffic data, bus fleet and types owned by the company routes plied, fares charge and organizational structure.
The first book to be reviewed for the success of this study is on Road Infrastructure. In Road Infrastructure and Economic Growth in Nigeria, Clement A.U. Ighodaro; outlined the importance of good road for transport companies which stand as a means for economic growth of the state at large. The book began by emphasing that road transportation system has been of more priority to the government among the three national development plan in Nigeria along with water and air transportation, and that the contribution of transportation to the total gross domestic product (GDP) has been on the down trend and as such led to an estimated losses to the Nigeria’s economy as a result of poor state of the road which is about 8billion yearly. The author believes that road development is very significant to the growth of an economy but building a quality road is costly. Therefore, rather than building new standard roads, government should adequately maintain the existing roads as this will further reduce cost of transportation and thereby reducing poverty and boosting the economic growth of the state. According to the book, road transport system is by far the most widely use mode of transportation and a potential development of road development is for investment, trade, growth and poverty alleviation, and not only does road infrastructure facilitate the direct provision of service to the commuters, it also provides intermediate inputs that enters into the production of other sector and raise factor productivity. By lowering the cost and reducing the time of making goods and services to where they can be used more efficiently, road development adds value and spur growth and a good road project clearly contribute to poverty reduction by improving the living condition of people and by augmenting the opportunity available for trade and employment.
The book also asserted that amidst the surface value of transport system, it also plays a direct role in the growth of any state economy, this claim was stated in its fact that transport can contribute to the economy directly through addition to capital stock via increase in transport infrastructure capital, transport provides the arteries through which the economic life of the people can be moved from one place to another as well as information, raw materials and finished products therefore, helping to build and maintain the society thereby leading to economic growth of the state. Having analysed this work, it became evident that the author placed priority on the economic side of transport and road infrastructure alone leaving the social aspect of road transport system, and also the book gave a general outlook on road infrastructure not using a particular state as its case study.
The second work to be reviewed is The International Journal of Business and Management – A study of the performance of public transport company in Niger state, Nigeria. This journal evaluates the variables that tend to determine the level of performance of public - government – owned – transport companies in Niger state of Nigeria. The book made it known that public sector bus enterprise in Nigeria are either owned by federal, state or local government. Prior to the federal government mass transit programme in 1988, public sector involvement in urban passenger transport service was very neglible9. It also outlined the first generational buses and the period they came into existence in Nigeria. It also asserted that public sector involvement in public transport is not strictly restricted to the provision of road passenger services.
According to the journal it was indicated that prior to the advent of motorized means of transport in Nigeria for the purpose of inland transportation, at the eve of the twentieth century, most movements were made along, footh paths and bush tracks. In the Savana region, people were able to tame horses and donkeys for their movement needs, while those in the forest region relied more on human efforts in the movement of goods. Canoe and boats were also used across rivers, creeks and lagoons for moving of people and goods. The urban transportation problem arises principally because of high concentration of population, economic activities, and educational and social facilities in relatively small areas, particularly with poor land use planning.10 These activities generated demand for transport services for in excess of supply of such services. Arising from this, the Federal Urban Mass Transit Agency (FUMTA) was established in 1988 as government response to the mobility crisis arising from the gross inadequacy of the various modes of public transportation in virtually all the urban centres in the country and this led to the situation where virtually all state government established their own bus undertaking for direct bus service delivery. The rail system could not help much during this mobility crisis because the NRC was ill equipped for urban mass transportation and the ferry service available then could not also help because they only existed in Lagos and Port Harcourt. This as a federal means of ameliorating the frustration and hardship experienced by workers and communities in all major cities, the task force on urban mass transit made or rather passed a proposed budget of N700 million for implementation of various urban mass transit projects; the report of the task force was presented on march 4, 1988 and it contained recommendation on programs and projects designed to relieve the situation and institutional machinery for implementation.11 The programme involved the injecting of over 2000 federal assisted bus into the public transport service network. About 85% of those buses were given to the state-owned companies under concessionary loan conditions – including no payment of advanced deposit, payment of cost of buses 3-5 years of 3-6% gross interest rate – the balance of 15% was allocated in the form of grants to federal colleges, universities and other tertiary institutions and specialized agencies.12
The operational cost of public transport are determined by a number of variables. In the bus industry, operating cost can be related to three main variables: Time, mileage and peak demand. The journal went further in analyzing the urban transportation problem which arises principally because of high concentration of population, economic activities, educational and social facilities in relatively small areas, particularly with poor land use planning.
Consequently, the book or rather journal failed to narrow its scope to its aim which is Niger state of Nigeria, the journal used an economical at look in analyzing its reports, the journal also did not categorically lost or make any claim to the performance of public transportation in Niger state to be precise to be either negative or positive.
“The Intermediate means of Transportation and Transport System in Imo State by Ngozi Christiana. This work examined the various roles played by intermediate means of transport system in Imo state particularly Ideato-North L.G.A of Imo state. The article explained that lack of adequate motorable roads hampers effective government and private transport participation, and as such, this affect the mobility of human efforts, goods and service for effective rural and urban transformation. The article explained that transportation involves movement of people, goods and service from one point to another. It also analysed the relevance of intermediate means of transport on rural development in Ideato-North L.G.A. According to the article, road infrastructure is a fundamental requirement for facilitating industrial, agricultural, and socio-economic development in Imo state. It was asserted by the article that transportation is considered as a rational way of achieving an economic man’s reaction to varied economic means spatially scattered to foster economic differential and development between different areas. According to this study I.M.T is defined as motorized cycle used to transport persons, goods and services as against bicycles, trucks, wheel barrows, etc and highly developed vehicular transport system such as cars, buses, train etc. the IMT used in Imo state particularly Ideato-North include motorcycle popularly known as okada, other means of transport include hand drawn wagons and trucks, wheel barrows and head porterage 13.
All the towns within the clan are connected by community roads and paths which are not passable and feature minimum use during rainy season due to sheet and gully erosion, pot holes and truncation of the roads making them impassable. It is this condition of the roads within the clan that motivates individuals and people to embark in movement of goods and service using IMT which are flexible and fast but with tendency to suffer accidents due to poor nature of the roads and inaccessible areas. It was further asserted by this article that majority of the okada operators in Imo state are males however, only a few women operate them but strictly for private use as provided by their tradition which forbade them from such act. It was also analysed that the operators of IMTs have a post primary and post-secondary academic qualifications and these groups consist of those who cannot write or express themselves in English, but can understand and communicate in Pidgin English. The article went ahead in outlining the types of IMTs used in Ideato-North as well as the income the operators earn. It was shown that the okada operators live within and above poverty level standard of N1.00, using N1.00 as poverty level indicator, as most operators income per day do not exceed the range of N500-100014. IMT is a flexible means of transport as one can stay around one’s house and obtain the service of IMT operators. The flexibility of motorcycle makes it possible to reach one’s destination on time despite the rough nature of the roads as the operators most times being indigene of the area having experience and knowledge of the area thereby avoiding area or rates that are dangerously bad. The contributions of IMT in urban and rural development in the state was also analysed by the article such as:
Reduction in urban and rural poverty
Reduction on number of unemployment
Help identify wanted persons, as they will be paraded only on the street before getting to their destination
Help in distributing and transferring or transporting produce and goods
Improved the living standard of people
Flexibility, place-to-place, or rather door to door service.15
However, although intermediate means of transport has played significant roles in the movement of people, goods and service, it has a flaw of inability of moving or conveying people to a very far distance journey such as inter-city or states, also the article limited or narrowed its scope to a particular local government in Imo state, Ideato-North local government area of Imo state, analyzing the benefits of IMT only to the local government area.
Mass Transportation System in Nigeria: Strategies for Effective Maintenance Culture in Public Sector Operations of Enugu State by Kingsley Efobi. The work asserted that transportation is the engine that drives the growth and development of people and countries. The work defined mass transportation as the movement of large number of people, goods and service from one place to another in one vehicle. It is therefore inevitable for the socio-economic and socio-cultural integration of nations, and for this reason, the Nigerian government spend huge financial resources on mass transportation sector on an annual basis particularly road transportation uptil date. 16 The work also affirmed the fact that though the Nigerian public mass transportation system has evolved over the years, it still faces huge challenges which bother much on maintenance culture. Maintenance for the mode and means of mass transportation facilities in Nigeria is being relegated to the background while favouring new procurements.
The work also analysed the effects of lack of maintenance of mass transportation in Nigeria, saying that a well-developed maintenance culture for mass transportation system will help to ensure that available facilities provided for the mass transit program do not deteriorate beyond repair. According to the work, over the years, most of the mass transit facilities provided by different regimes in the country like the mass transit programs have ended up moribond due to lack of maintenance of vehicles and facilities, and as such, available buses are inadequate at serving the teeming population of the people and they often break down frequently and are finally grounded and abandoned. Roads are neglected until they turn into patches of pot-holes and death traps while traffic lights, road signals/signs and other road furniture are left till they are defaced and destroyed, this affects both federal and state government mass transit schemes. The book also noted that Niger state transport authority has a high number of grounded vehicles mainly due to mechanical faults, the story is the same for other state mass transit such as the Enugu State Transport Corporation (ENTRACO), Transport Company of Anambra State (TRACAS), Benue links, Abia line, Imo state Transport Company (ITC), and Delta line among other state mass transportation. For this reason, it is common knowledge in Nigeria today that while private bus service like Ekene Dili Chukwu motors, God is Good motors are still operating profitably, almost all the state owned bus services at one point or the other have folded up unceremoniously, while most of the existing ones are operationally inefficient.
The book also gave the strategies for maintaining of mass transportation facilities, articulating maintenance at two main levels namely (1) preventive and (2) corrective maintenance. Preventive maintenance works are carried out periodically on available vehicles and other facilities before they breakdown while for corrective maintenance, repairs are carried out when vehicles and other transport facilities have completely broken down. Under corrective maintenance, upgrading and modification are the strategies analysed in it. Factors militating against the maintenance of mass transportation system in Nigeria as listed by the book are: (1) Non-chalant attitude, on the part of the government, operators and passengers. (2) Inadequate government funding (3) Non availability of vehicle spare parts (4) Poor condition of roads (5) Corruption and indiscipline (6) Poor policy and program initiative implementation (7) Poor transportation data bank (8) organizational structure.
Conclusively, the book is a very rich and vital one as it threw light to the measures of maintaining vehicle or rather mass transportation system which is one of the engines of the economy to foster boost economically and socially, also gave insight to the factors militating against maintaining of mass transportation facilities so as to curb them before they escalate leading to moribound or relating of these facilities. However, this book still have a flaw just like other books reviewed of not giving a general outlook on mass transportation maintenance, rather it streamed line its outlook to ENTRACO, Enugu state transportation company. Showcasing that ENTRACO currently have forty-three operational buses out of which 60% are functional while 40% are out of service.
Chapter One: - This chapter is basically about the background to the study under which there is the introduction, aims and objectives, scope of work, methodology, literature review and endnotes.
Chapter Two:- This chapter talks about the historical background of I.T.C, a brief introduction, its formation, its aims and goals, its achievement, its structure and endnotes.
Chapter Three: - This chapter focuses on the operation of I.T.C, from its personnel structure to its branches activities. It also talks about the safety measures of I.T.C in relation to F.R.S.C. it came to an end with the importance of transport companies in Imo State, synopsis of other Transport Companies in Imo State and endnotes.
Chapter Four: - This chapter is the subject matter of the research work as it talks about the socio-economic contribution of I.T.C, measuring and highlighting economic benefits of I.T.C to Imo State as well as measuring and highlighting the social benefits of I.T.C to Imo State.
Chapter Five:- This chapter concludes the research work by analyzing all major points already discussed in the previous chapters with bibliography
African Economic and Business Review. Vol. 8, No. 1, Spring 2010. ISSN 110-5609© 2010. “The Transport Education and Business Research Institute”, Inc.
Ethiopian Journal of Environmental Studies and Management Vol. 1, No. 1, March 2008. “Urban Road Transportation in Nigeria from 1960 to 2006”: Problems Prospects and Challenges.
Ibid. P. 25.
Central Bank of Nigeria (2000). Statistical Bulletin. C.B.N, Abuja.
Ibid. P. 4.
Intermediate Means of Transportation. Report and Opinion, 2011; 3(11) p. 14-18 ISSN: 1553-9873.
Ministry of Transportation and Works, Owerri, Imo State.
Imo State Transport Company, Historical Publication on I.T.C, 2000.
Ethiopian Journal of Environmental Studies and Management Vol. 1, No. 1, March 2008. “Urban Road Transportation in Nigeria from 1960 to 2006”: Problems, Prospects and Challenges.
Ibid. p. 7.
Tunji Bolade and Adeyemi, E.O. (eds) “Enhancing the Efficiency of Mass Transit Operations in Nigeria. Ibadan, Rex Charles Publication. 2002.
Ibid. p. 12.
“Intermediate Means of Transport, Idea to-North, Owerri, Imo State”. Report and Opinion, 2011; 3(11) ISSN:1553-9873.
Ibid. p. 2
Ibid. p. 3.
Kingsley Efobi “Mass Transportation System in Nigeria”: Strategies for Effective Maintenance Culture in Public Sector Operations of Enugu State. Macmillan Publication, 2005.
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