1.1 Background of the Study
Benin City has one of the quality transport services in Nigeria which is located at ring road (Bobizua park) and third market (Osato park). Quality urban transport services in Benin City have been provided by public and private transport companies (Kantorovich, 2012). This has no doubt improved the socio-economic development of Benin City and Edo State large. This is evidence that transportation plays key role in the development of urban and rural areas. The role of transportation in economic development cannot be overemphasized. Transportation is the engine block of any society and hence provides room for effective socio-economic development and societal improvement (Ashenfelter and Card, 2015). According to Aweto (2015), transportation plays key role in urban development and nations building.
Research has shown that transportation alone account for about 46% of the total physical distribution cost for manufacturing companies and 28% for reseller companies. It is important to note that much such success can be accomplish in manufacturing, distribution of goods and services including the movement of people without transportation (Adeniji, 2010). It is as a result of the great importance attached to transportation that man has over the years developed various transportation modes in other to facilitate the movement of people and materials. The mode of transportation selected will greatly depend on price, time, delivery, condition and destination, passenger’s patronage, and past purchase satisfaction. This poor transportation management can therefore jeopardize the source of procurement of materials; goods and services, movement or people and even course increase in prices and loss of lives (Adefolalu, 2007).
According to Kantorovich (2012) achieving quality urban transport services is the key objective of every company, that is, if total profit for a period is to be achieved. This cannot be achieved if the management of the transport activities in an establishment is faced with some problems such as; delay in delivery of goods, improper handling of materials resulting in damage of goods, lack of qualified personnel, inadequate transportation system in the organization, and improper maintenance of transporting system causing breakdown leading to late delivery. For the fact that many people invest in the transport industry, effective transportation management is lacking in most transport companies (Adeniji, 2010).
Road Transportation is a necessary end right from early history. The mobility of people and materials especially in the present days become one of the greatest needs that have to be adequately satisfied on our society and economy at large (Barke and Hare, 2014). Transportation is referred to as the engine of the economy. This means that without transportation management system, the entire economy will suffer stagnation (Adefolalu, 2007). Transportation helps to bridge the gap between producers, suppliers and industrial users as well as individual commuters. Transport has been likened to the human blood circulatory system whose healthy functioning is a necessary condition for the sustenance of human life (Adeniji, 2010). Transport systems provide a key to the understanding and operation of many other systems at any different scales (Bearse, 2016). 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 (Barke and Hare, 2014).
The role of government in providing quality urban transport services in Nigeria has not been encouraging (Bearse, 2016). Government tends to neglect transportation sectors and focus on other sectors of the economy without knowing that quality urban transport services provided in any modern society could enhance effective delivery in economic growth and societal development (Bearse, 2016). As further observed by Bearse (2016), the provision of urban transport services in most Nigerian cities has been seriously affected by lack of adequate fund have resulted to poor road network, poor transportation facilities and lack of community and environmental facilities.
Transportation helps to bridge the gap between producers, suppliers and industrial users as well as individual commuters. As noted by Ashenfelter and Card (2015), there is hardly any human society or human settlement system that can function efficiently and effectively without adequate, reliable, safe and affordable transport systems. They added that the most fundamental reason for this being the catalytic effect of transport development on socio-economic growth and development. They therefore concluded that poor transport system of inadequate provision of quality urban transport services often result to social, political, environmental and economic effects.
According to Clarke (2016), transportation is no doubt an indispensible catalyst for activating and stimulating the tempo of economic, social, political and strategic development in any society. Thus, effective and efficient functioning of urban centres depends on the provision of basic infrastructures one of the most important being transport.
Transport according to Hornby (2010) is conveying, or being conveyed or a means of conveyance from one place to another. It is the movement or displacement of persons, good and other movable possessions in time and space for a particular purpose. In human societies, this is not chaotically done because recognized paths marked out by individuals or the societies are usually followed (Sube, 2012). This could be by water, land or air. It is possible that since man from origin is a mobile being, the word transport must have entered his vocabulary as early as when he developed the act of speech (Richard and Ignatius, 2014).
In the same vein, Filani (2005) rightly observes that the socio-economic development of any society depends to a large extent on the nature and structure of the transportation networks of the society since it provides the arteries through which the economic life stream of society flows (the people, information, raw materials and finished products) which help to build and maintain the society.
According to John, et al (2005), developing countries have several factors in common that contribute to the severity of their transport problems. 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. The supply of transport infrastructure lagged far behind. Public sector finances in general are so limited that funding for transport improvement is woefully inadequate. Commenting on urban transport problems in Lagos state, Nigeria, Atubi (2007a) opines that some of the most serious problem facing development planner and of the most makers in the country reside in the transport sector.