1.1 Background to 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, Warri Metropolis 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 Warri Metropolis. The people of Warri 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 Delta State and Warri in particular which have in turn boast transportation and socio-economic development in Warri and Delta State at large.
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 (2004b), 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 (such as Warri Metropolis) there must be an efficient and effective means of transport (Atubi and Onokala 2004a). 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 Warri Metropolis.
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 facilities in Warri Metropolis.
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 Aim and Objectives
The main aim of this study is to examine the effects of population growth on transportation facilities in Warri Metropolis. However, the specific objectives include to:
- examine the socio-economic effect of population growth on the livelihood of Warri people.
- examine the effects of population growth on transportation facilities in Warri Metropolis.
- examine the causes and consequent effects of rapid population growth in the area.
- identify the predominant mode of transportation and the transport facilities provided in the study area.
- examine the major problems of road transport in Warri Metropolis.
- Proffer or suggest lasting solution (s) to the problems of transportation system in the study area.
1.4 Research Questions
- What are the socio-economic effects of population growth on the livelihood of Warri people?
- What effect does population growth have on transportation facilities in Warri Metropolis?
- What are the causes and consequent effects of rapid population growth in the area?
- What is the predominant mode of transportation and transport facilities provided in Warri Metropolis?
- What are the major problems of road transport in Warri Metropolis?
- What are the solutions to the problems of transportation in the study area?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
The following research hypothesis will be tested in this study using appropriate statistical tool;
- There is no significant relationship between population growth and the transport facilities provided in Warri Metropolis.
- There is no significant relationship between population growth and the problems of transportation in Warri Metropolis.
- Rapid population growth has no significant effect on Warri Metropolis.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The significance of the study lies in overall “the effects of population growth on transportation facilities in Warri Metropolis”. 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 Warri Metropolis, 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 facilities in Warri Metropolis. Transportation facilities 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 Warri Metropolis due to rapid population increase which will in turn affect not only the residents of Warri Metropolis 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.
It is therefore hoped that the result of this research work will go an extra mile to control socio-economic and environmental problems such as lack of income, financial difficulties among families, and housing congestion caused by increasing population of the urban centres resulting to urban problems. The findings will also provide useful background information for future research in the contribution of geography towards nation building.
1.7 STUDY AREA
The study area (Warri Metropolis) is located in the South-South Geo-Political zone and in the Niger Delta Region of the Southern part of Nigeria (Edevbie, 2017).