EFFECT OF POPULATION ON ROAD TRANSPORTATION IN PORT HARCOURT
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1.1 Background of the study
It has been discovered that no matter how well conceived public efforts might be to restore and maintain Nigeria cities and communities as good places in which to live and find work, the ultimate outcome of city growth and its pattern of development depends on private decisions and private investments (Agar, 2017). Furthermore, Agar, (2017) posit that, as both the traditional and new towns and cities grew in response to Nigeria’s socio-economic and political requirements some of these cities grew according to prescribed laws but majority developed amorphously. He added that, present Nigerian cities are plagued with decay and congestion, speculation and ugliness and they suffer disorder as though born of anarchy. As pointed out by Aloba (2015), in most cities of the developing countries, investment in infrastructure including housing has failed to keep pace with the growing population. According to Jiboye (2016), Nigeria cities also share this similar experience at available data reveals that their population has been growing at an alarming rate, thus ranking them among the fastest in the world. The urbanization rate has resulted in a total urban population of 60-66 million (United Nations, 2015). Thus, this phenomenal rise in population, spontaneous increase in the number and size of most Nigeria cities have in the past few decades led to acute shortage of decent and affordable dwelling units (Oduwoye, 2016). The outcomes of this developmental process are diverse urban problems ranging from overcrowding, deplorable environment, poor living conditions, inadequate and poor infrastructural services, homelessness and other related problems (Federal Government of Nigeria, 2014). Jiboye (2016) noted that Nigerian population has gathered momentum. It will continue to increase for some time even if there is a change favourable towards family planning and birth control. Increasing population at the expense of socio-economic development is inimical to people’s well being and development. An increasing population has consequences and implications most especially for a country like Nigeria especially on family income. Jiboye (2016) posit that, overall population growth and increasing urbanization have led, especially to the rapid growth of large cities, which have been overwhelmed by the sudden jump in travel demand. He furthered that the supply of transport infrastructure lagged far behind. He therefore concluded that public sector finances in general are so limited that funding for transport improvement is woefully inadequate. In recent years, portharcourt has experienced rapid population growth as a result of increasing population. According to Davis (2017), the main reason for this rapid increase in population is not far from uncontrolled migration and rapid urbanization. Rapid population growth has no doubt affected transport facilities in portharcourt. The people of portharcourt place premium on transportation and infrastructural development. According to Onyeka (2017), town unions, private individuals, and associations, being part of voluntary agencies, have played active roles in the development of transport system through the provision of transport, environmental, and infrastructural and community facilities at transportation companies and major roads in Rivers State and portharcourt in particular which have in turn boast transportation and socio-economic development in portharcourt. The major developmental challenge facing the developing world today as pointed out by Jiboye (2016) is how to cope with urbanization that is currently on the environment and living standards. It is doubt that Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and also the most populous among the black nations of the world. Globally, Nigeria is among the ten top countries with the largest population, in fact, the seventh among the countries with the largest population in the world (United Nations, 2016). As pointed out by Arthur (2017), transport systems provide a key to the understanding and operation of many other systems at any different scales. (Barke and Hare (2014) further added that at one extreme, inter-continental transport provides essential communication between the advanced and developing worlds, while local transport to rural markets in many parts of the third world is a vital component in changing dynamic socio-economic structures. Atubi and Onokala (2004b) have clearly pointed out that “in human geography, one of the most fundamental themes is spatial interaction”. They argued that spatial interaction involves the movement of goods and services and people between various centres in space. According to Atubi and Onokala (2004), when constructing or improving a road network where economical solution for one road link may not necessarily be the best solution for the network as a whole. They furthered that the cost of implementing one project to high standards may consume resources that would be better spent over the whole network, or in filling other gaps in the network with lower standard roads. Furthermore, for any meaningful division of labour and specialization in production process to take place in any society portharcourt there must be an efficient and effective means of transport (Atubi and Onokala 2004). The various Feeder roads and paths are constructed to connect the interior parts of the region and this gives room or serve as an advantage to motorcycle (Okada) and tricycle (Keke napep) transport system in portharcourt. Muhammad (2016) said that, the ultimate consequences of increasing population growth on transportation facilities are shrunken resources. He further said that this usually leads to movement of people away from such an area to other less populated regions where resources are more abundant. In that way migration becomes a means of achieving a balance between rural population and available resources. In all of these cases, Agar (2017) opined that rural migration may be seen in principle as a spontaneous response of rural people to the scarcity of resources under the impact of population growth. Several works (such as Jiboye, 2016; Agar 2017; Arthur, 2017; Muhammad; 2017) have been carried out on rapid population growth and transportation facilities in both urban and rural areas. Studies conducted have clearly pointed out that rapid population growth has a direct effect on transport facilities in most Nigerian cities. It is against this background that this study is carried out to examine the effects of population growth on transportation portharcourt.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Problems and issues emanating from rapid population growth and urbanization abound and are enormous and alarming. This has in recent time called for a periodic re-examination of the effects of population growth on transportation faculties in Nigerian cities, towns, and villages. The growth rate of the population needs to be studied, monitored and managed properly with conscious efforts. If not, it can militate against all the efforts of government to fulfill its commitment to improving the quality of live and standard of living of the people of the country (Jiboye, 2016). Rapid population growth is detrimental to economic and social development. There will be little or no time to adjust economy to developmental efforts. According to Koontz (2016), population will continue to eat up any gain in economic development and these may lead to adverse effects on the people as put forward by Malthus. Nigerian population requires and deserves urgent attention as a result of its alarming and unprecedented growth rate, also, because the population has gathered momentum. Koontz (2016) opined that lack of poor technological development to monitor or regulate the speed of vehicles, lack of clean vehicles, high overloading of men and goods are great problems to road transportation. In addition, Nwakamma (2016) noted that the poor attitude of drivers towards their passengers is nothing to write home about. Road transport is the principal mode of transportation in Nigeria accounting for the vast majority of freight and passenger travel. As pointed out by Ojabo (2017), over the years the road system has been subjected to heavy freight which was beyond the carrying capacity of the roads. This made the condition of the roads deteriorate and the result is that much of the road system is barely usable. Hence roads were built to carry freight that could conveniently be carried by railways. Today, road transportation accounts for over 95% of passengers and freight transport (Ojabo, 2017). One of the fundamental problems of man since antiquity is that of overcoming the friction of distance both in space and time. Man has been on the move from one place to another seeking for a means of survival. The emergence of modern means of transportation in the world and most importantly in developing countries like Nigeria has a remarkable influence on the socio-economic development of urban and rural areas. Transportation to some in the urban settings is a choice not a concern (Dakyes and Ogbuli, 2012). However, in urban setting the availability of transportation facilities is often limited if provided at all. Transportation enhances the process of economic growth in urban areas by making needed services available to rural dwellers (Dakyes and Ogbuli, 2012). It has been discovered in recent studies (such as Koontz, 2016; Nwakamma, 2016; Ojabo, 2017) that the lack of good road in the Nigeria cities, town and villages makes it difficult for the people to access good markets for their farm produce as more than 86.6% of roads in the area are very bad. This was discovered to have affected the socio-economic activities of the people thereby increasing the level of poverty in the communities in Nigeria cities and villages. It is against this background that this study is carried out to address the aforementioned problems.
- 1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The objectives of the study are;
- To examine the effects of population on transportation in port harcourt
- To examine the causes and consequent effects of rapid population in the area.
- To examine the major problems of road transport in port harcourt 1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHSES
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
H0: there are no effects of population on transportation in port harcourt
H1: there are effects of population on transportation in port harcourt
H02: there are no causes and consequent effects of rapid population in the area.
H2: there are causes and consequent effects of rapid population in the area.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of the study lies in overall “the effects of population on transportation portharcourt. Rapid population growth has become so wide spread that it cannot be overlooked. It is to this effect that the study is aimed at informing the people of portharcourt, the extent to which population growth have resulted to socio-economic and environmental problem such as transportation problems, lack of income, financial difficulties among families, housing congestion, overcrowding, land use congestion etc which have generated urban problems. Hence, effort must be put in place to control population explosion of cities and urban centres in order not to experience the effect of population growth on transportation in portharcourt. Transportation is continued to be affected by the rapid increase in population and uncontrolled migration of the rural dwellers to the cities in search for greener pasture and job opportunities. There may be urban problems around port harcourt due to rapid population increase which will in turn affect not only the residents of portharcourt but also their socio-economic activities thus hindering the socio-economic development of the area. It may also become a major socio-economic determinant in the study area.
- SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study effect of population on road transportation in port harcourt. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
- a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
- b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
- DEFINITION OF TERMS
TRANSPORTATION: Transport or transportation is the movement of humans, animals and goods from one location to another. In other words, the action of transport is defined as a particular movement of an organism or thing from a point A to a Point B. Modes of transport include air, land, water, cable, pipeline and space.
POPULATION: In biology, a population is all the organisms of the same group or species, which live in a particular geographical area, and have the capability of interbreeding.
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