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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A transportation strategy for regional development Ajayi, Peter Sunday


Regional development is currently a major concern of governments in the developing countries - Nigeria included. The basic emphasis of regional development in these countries is the improvement of "quality of life for all citizens as development progresses" (Federal Republic of Nigeria: Third National Development Plan, 1975 - 80, Lagos, 1975, p. 291). In order to achieve this objective, emphasis is usually placed on the rural sector of the economy - where a majority of the citizens still live and are employed. The improvement of this sector is also the focus of this study. There are many strategies which are capable, at least theoretically, of improving conditions in the rural areas but the main emphasis of this study is the development of rural transportation as a means of developing the rural areas. Transportation is viewed as a necessity in any human settlement as people and goods have to move from one place to the other, for economic, social and political purposes. The first objective of this study is the establishment of the relationship between transportation and rural development - i.e. that there is a rural demand for transportation. If this demand exists, what mode of transport is most likely to satisfy that demand? At present in Nigeria, roads seem to be dominating other modes because of its characteristics. In this study, transportation is not seen as the sole agent for rural development. For a transportation strategy to be successful, it has to be coordinated with other development strategies. The problem of providing adequate rural transportation is identified as an institutional one. The institutional framework within which transportation is provided in Nigeria is then examined and problems identified, especially those related to rural transportation construction and maintenance. Especially apparent in the deficiencies of the existing administrative structure is the lack of coordination which it permits This lack of coordination of transportation policies exists between different ministries of the same government and between different levels of government - i.e. both horizontally and vertically. For this lack of coordination, it seems that the rural'roads are the most vulnerable. In view of this institutional problem, a modification of the existing structure is recommended, which gives greater emphasis to the development and maintenance of local roads in conjunction with the development of other modes of transportation for the country. The major modification is in favour of reducing the existing responsibi1ities of Local Governments in road transportation construction. This implies that the Federal and State Governments would have to take more shares if all types of roads are to be developed - i.e. providing good transportation in the rural areas.

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