1. How important is road transport in Nigeria?
Transportation is one of the basic sectors of an economy. In Nigeria, the transportation sector is among the sectors that needs serious attention and intervention.
There are four major modes of transportation in Nigeria:
- Land transportation (via automobile either by road or rail)
- Air transportation
- Water transportation
- Human portage and use of animals like the camels ( more common in the Northern part of Nigeria)
Of all these means of transportation, road transport seems to be the most common, the most affordable, the most easily accessible and the one that is prone to more disaster.
It's not the first time we have mentioned this issue. You can look through our latest traffic updates to see daily news related to road transport in Nigeria, as well as dive in such comprehensive analysis of Traffic on Third Mainland Bridge – problems and solutions after 20 years of operation to see how Nigerians suffer from everyday when travelling to work.
2. Problems of road transport in Nigeria
With the high population of the country and the large number of cars that ply the roads, one would think the most common means of transport will be made comfortable and convenient to the masses but the story of the road transportation system in Nigeria is far from that. One can say that the problems stems from both the Nigerian government and individual citizens of the country.
Here are some of the problems that plague road transportation in Nigeria.
2.1. Poor state of the roads
This is one of the major problems faced in this means of transportation. Majority of the roads are left in very bad shapes as a result of erosions, portholes and inadequate drainage systems. Even newly constructed ones are being constructed using inferior materials thus leaving them to the mercy of the elements within a short period of time. The roads with the potholes and uneven edges or surfaces make transportation not only difficult and stressful but also dangerous as some of those roads form major sites of accidents.
Majority of the roads are in very bad shapes which poses a major issue to ease of transportation
2.2. Poor maintenance of the roads
This is actually one of the factors that lead to poor state of the Nigerian roads. Every infrastructure no matter how durable it is when it was constructed needs to be maintained because wears and tears are inevitable so long as the infrastructure is being put into use. This should be one of the major roles of the government but it is quite unfortunate to say that they have not really been keeping up to expectation. In addition, procrastination in maintaining and repairing the roads makes it more difficult and increases the expenses to be made on it.
Routine maintenance of roads should be carried out to guarantee ease of usage by motorists
2.3. Syphoning of funds by government officials and contractors
Maybe we should have started the list with this factor because it seems to be the root of the problems we have with road transport in Nigeria. This is what leads to bad road, poor maintenance of the roads and subsequently accidents along the roads.
The Federal governments might sign and release funds to people in charge only for the funds to end up not being used for the purpose for which it was released. The public officials in charge collaborate with the supposed contractors to syphon these funds into their personal accounts leaving the poor masses to suffer for their selfish actions.
>>> Private sector participation can also help in reducing the burden of road transport development if given the necessary support. Bolt says their on-demand transport services are affected by poor telecommunication infrastructure
2.4. Road congestions especially along junctions
It is not unusual to see the roads congested with commuters, automobiles and hawkers especially in the major cities in Nigeria like Lagos. The number of people using the roads seems to exceed the road networks available for them to use. As if that is not enough, the traffic is left in chaos and uncoordinated. The junctions are meant to be equipped with traffic lights and should have road wardens but that seems not be seen in most of the busy roads.
Asides bad roads, the number of users exceeding the network of roads lead to these traffic congestions
2.5. Road accidents
This is a major problem of the road transportation in Nigeria and the ultimate price the masses pay because things are not done right. The rate of road accidents caused by the bad shape of the roads and the carelessness of drivers and road users is alarming. If nothing is done about it, the numbers may escalate in the future.
As much as bad roads cause roads accidents these accidents also have a reverse effect of damaging the roads
Generally it is agreed that the problems of road transport in Nigeria can be easily managed if rapid rate of urbanisation is checked and other transport sectors are employed.
3. Final words
Having identified problems of road transport in Nigeria, Naijauto hope to raise public awareness of these issues and together think of potential solutions to them. However, the crucial factor is the timely support and intervention from local government and FG so that all these problems are drastically addressed.
>>> That's for road transport, what about transportation problems in general? Check this post! Endless problems of transportation in Nigeria