Sustainable Transportation System in Nigeria: A Cause for Immediate Action not only ConcernsBy Ahmed Sodiq and Adetunji Alabi
Published on 8 October 2017
Transportation is among the most important issues in many urban areas around the world. Methodologies for sustainable transportation keep emerging with effects on improved land-use, planning, administration, reduction of emissions from vehicles, and utilization of transport foundations and offices.
Transportation is among the most important issues in many urban areas around the world . Methodologies for sustainable transportation keep emerging with effects on improved land-use, planning, administration, reduction of emissions from vehicles, and utilization of transport foundations and offices. In addition to these, genuine expenses of infrastructure, integration of environment in asset policies and policy making as well as in end-user expenses are among the standards that sustainable transportation possesses. Improvements in the vehicles, fuel efficiencies, and incentives for less-polluting fuel options are among the central themes in the technical aspect of sustainable transportation. On the economic side, a sustainable transportation works on improving public transportation competitiveness with other contending urban transportation systems.
What is sustainable transportation? What are the trappings to watch out for in order to adjudge a transportation system sustainable? How has Nigeria performed in its scorecard on sustainable transportation?
The Center for Sustainable Transport (CST) in Toronto, defines sustainable transportation as a system that: allows the basic access and developmental needs of individuals, companies and societies to be met safely in a manner consistent with human and ecosystem health, and provides equity within and between successive generations; is affordable, operates fairly and efficiently, offers choice of transportation mode, and supports a competitive economy, as well as balanced regional development, and; limits emissions and waste within the planet’s ability to absorb them, uses renewable resources at or below their rates of generation, and, uses non-renewable resources at or below the rates of development of renewable substitutes while minimizing the impact on land .
On the question of what is to be watched out for; sustainable transportation must avoid the drawbacks of the conventional urban transportation systems in which transportation is restricted to means of mobility in the urban settings, a condition that prevents innovation in transportation systems. A sustainable transportation strategy must recognize the four emerging areas of innovation in city transportation: Mobility, City Logistics, Intelligent System Management, and Livability. Sustainable transportation is one in which transportation does not endanger public health or ecosystems and meets the needs for access consistent with;
- Use of renewable resources below their regeneration rates, and
- Use of non-renewable resources below the rates of development of renewable substitutes.
Having defined sustainable transportation and listed conditions that must be met for a transportation system to be adjudged sustainable, the next question that must be answered is whether Nigeria has performed well in its position as one of the signatories to non-proliferation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The global urban population rose from 220 million to about 2.8 billion over the twentieth century . By 2050 it is anticipated that urban population would rise to 6.9 billion, which would be about 70% of the world population . Across the world, especially in Chinese cities, figures have shown a continuous increase in car ownership per capita. The combination of increase in car ownership and increase in population produces increase in estimated distance travelled. These eventually demand for more fossil fuel consumption (fossil-based fuels are still the dominant fuels available in transportation sectors around the world despite the much-talked-about proliferation in renewable alternatives), land-use and mammoth transportation infrastructures. In terms of population increase and estimated distance travelled due to increase in car ownership, Nigeria has equally increased its footprint . The reason is not farfetched, because like every other highly populated country in the world, Nigeria’s urban population has been swelling in recent years. And there has not been a good plan from policymakers in the country to address city-wide transportation system, except in Lagos State where paltry sum of BRT buses have been infused into the city transportation system to address one aspect of sustainable transportation system, easy access.
In Nigeria, the strategy of moving towards a sustainable transportation system is not clear, mostly due to the other array of problems that the country needs to contend with; you must have teeth in order to have toothaches. To start with, there should be a coordinated city-wide transportation system before we can commence the discussion of sustainable transportation system. Given how unsustainable the present transportation frameworks are, it is important that significant base speculations must be made to do justice to this. Wait a minute! Since city-wide responsive transportation systems are not yet in practice, then Nigeria can start on a clean sheet in order to be at par with other countries around the world on sustainable transportation practices. Whether the arrangement is a more prominent utilization of less earth-harming methods of transportation or an adjustment in vehicles innovation (a clarion call to Innoson Motors), whichever way is adopted, it must include noteworthy long term infrastructural ventures. In conclusion, sustainable transportation pillars are; governance, financing, infrastructure, and neighborhoods. Each of the four pillars is important and all must be entrenched in a feasible manner to serve community interests .
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
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