When it comes to transportation particularly here in Nigeria, what first comes to mind is road transportation. Maybe because it is the only means of transport which is more common, affordable and easily available for both the elite and the hoi polloi.
Apart from the common road transportation, there are other means of transportation such as air transportation, rail transportation, water transportation and the infrequent or extinct animal transportation.
These various means of transportation have their merits and demerits, theirs blessings and their regrets as can be seen from the problems arising from them which either harm us humans or the environment which we live.
In this article, the various problems affecting transportation will be discussed.
Problems Affecting Transportation in Nigeria
1. Syphoning of public funds by contractors and public officials
Before we get to factors such as bad roads, road pollution, inadequacy of street and traffic lights, I think we should first of all talk about the root cause of all these problems which obviously and regrettably is as a result of the greediness of our fellow sons and daughters of the Fatherland.
After budgets are signed and approved, funds released and transferred to who they think is the right person for the job. These funds get eluded with by these greedy contractors. Some public officials who are in charge of this duty injects sentiment into the system. Nepotism and tribalism now precedes quality, efficiency and capability.
Sometimes, in order not to make it look like they siphoned the funds required to execute the administered project, they resort to bringing construction companies abroad which are not even in the list of top 20 construction companies in their various countries.
I was flabbergasted when i found out that a certain company (name withheld) offered a contract to construct a certain road in my state was a company which was banned from doing any road construction in their own country. These are the kinds of companies that our contractors will partner with just to maximize their profit with detriment to people’s cars which will suffer breakdowns and human beings which will get involved in traffic accidents.
2. Abandonment of transport media on construction by contractors
This is also a noticeable problem in transportation infesting Nigeria. Sometimes, it stems from politics. If the administration who initiated the project leaves office, if the next executive in charge isn’t considerate, the project dies with the previous administration. Many uncompleted roads are scattered all over the Nigerian states.
Apart from roads, railway projects, airport construction and even seaport construction gets abandoned midway.
3. Bad Roads
This is the commonest problem affecting road transportation in Nigeria. Most of us at some point have come across a certain road which either broke down our car, fell us off a bike or instill in us the fear which is enough to make us want to come down from a vehicle and walk. When little funds are set aside for road construction, this problem of bad road is inevitable.
Quality comes with a huge price and the issue of siphoning of funds by public officials and contractors can be linked directly to this problem. Its only a genuine and certified civil engineer who knows the best type and quality of road which befits a particular location not the governor’s or commissioner’s brother nor relative. The moment inefficiency, nepotism and tribalism sets into the process of road construction, the problem of low quality roads can be anticipated.
Aside from the corruption of officials and contractors who set aside measly funds out of the abundant offered, in order for manageable instead of quality roads to be constructed, there are other factors that also contribute to these bad roads.
Huge and heavy trucks loaded with goods traversing the roads also contribute to the emanation of these bad roads. Dumping of refuse into gutters which clog them thus leading to the overflow of water and flooding of roads also contribute to bad roads too.
4. Lack of regulations against bad vehicles
Some vehicles can be funny and some scary. Things would have been better when it comes to road and casualty rate could have been reduced if these bad vehicles were regulated and prevented from traversing roads. I once saw a vehicle with the drivers door ripped off, the trunk open but still driving on the road.
Then, there was another one emitting thick fumes like a chimney, messing up the whole road and clouding vision. Aside from the reduction in road visibility, the fumes released from these exhaust pipes contains a very poisonous gas called carbon monoxide which when inhaled combines with the haemoglobin in blood thus reducing the oxygen level in the body.
These combination can result in death so, by putting up regulations against these kinds of vehicles, the passengers and drivers are put out of harms way.
5. Bad driving conditions
Safe vehicular movement, there must be order in the road. This order can be maintained either through automated means by installing traffic lights or manually by employing the service of a traffic warden. Apart from this, street lamps should also be installed and made functional to ensure safe vehicular movements at night.
Furthermore, the service of several paramilitary are now excessive which creates a nuisance in the road. In Akwa Ibom state, we have the FRSC, traffic wardens, some uniformed men controlling the tricycle and also some police in patrol. Though their services are required but as often said, too much of everything is a disease.
This excess now transform and manifest into various forms of assault, extortion and harassment.
6. Traffic Accidents
When the road is bad, road accident is a given. If a vehicle going in front with others following behind suddenly gets stuck in the steep hole on a bad road, high probability of the vehicles following behind to collide with it is to be anticipated.
Also, lack of traffic lights also contribute to high accident rates since there is no organization in vehicular movement. Most drivers out there on the street seem to drive as though their houses are on fire, no one wants to take turn and if the service of a traffic warden is not employed on time, not only does the pedestrians turn victims to this road accident but passengers too.
Lack of street lights or their inadequacy also contributes to accidents taking place at night.
Read Also: The Role of Transportation in a Supply Chain
7. Fuel scarcity and price inflation
Nigerians experience fuel scarcity and price inflation periodically. This periodic fuel scarcity or inflation exerts great impediment to transportation. The transport fare gets unbearably high and the rate at which the vehicles are found reduces. Cabs and tricycles refuse to take on long distance drives thus exacerbating the current fuel crisis situation.
8. Traffic congestion
When there is high level of rural-urban migration, there is a risk of overpopulation. Overpopulation breeds various vices, environmental pollution and traffic congestion. Inadequacy of alternative roads will also lead to traffic congestion, bad roads will lead to congestion on the good road since no reasonable person would want to risk a car breakdown due to a bumpy road.
Solutions to traffic congestion often involve construction of flyovers, repair of bad roads and removal of broken cars from the road.
This factor affects primarily the water transportation system. In the dry season, rivers reduce in volume, become shallow thus making ship operation problematic.
10. Contumacious attitude of drivers
Most drivers are very disobedient, they don’t care about traffic laws and they drive how they like, beating traffic light, driving one way and even more dangerously, driving on the pedestrian track. In Uyo, Akwa ibom state where motorcycle is banned, you’d still find out that there are certain people working against this ban and still riding motorbike.
If only they would ride cautiously, there wouldn’t be any problems but they over-speed, ride one-way and even on pedestrian tracks. Some drivers even ignore parking bans and still park their vehicles right where they were warned not to. These in all respect is a problem to transportationBuy and Sell Bitcoin in Nigeria - Register for free on Luno
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