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Akpan, Uduak Sylvester (2022) Application of Geographic Information System (GIS) and Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) to planning and prioritization of rural roads in Nigeria. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Good quality rural road infrastructure seems to contribute substantially to improvements in several socio-economic indicators in rural areas: increases accessibility to markets, educational and health facilities, and stimulates economic activities. However, about 450 million people in sub-Saharan Africa or 70% of the rural population have been left without access to good transport infrastructure. This study answers three broad questions related to rural road transportation in Nigeria: what are the travel choices of rural households in Nigeria in the face of poor rural road infrastructure? Which rural roads should be improved to yield the maximum socio-economic benefits in rural areas? What are the constraints to the improvements of the quality of rural road infrastructure? The study focuses on Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. To answer the first question, the study narrows its focus from rural households to rural smallholder farmers. The study uses an existing sampling frame of smallholder farmers obtained from the World Bank-supported Fadama III Project in Akwa Ibom State, and employs multistage sampling to generate data on travel mode choices. According to the data, motorcycles are the most owned means of transportation in the study area, and also the most used – even by persons who do not own any means of transportation. Further, we employ the multinomial logit model to examine the factors that influence their choices of means of transportation and we use motorcycle as the reference category. The result shows that the preference of respondents for the different means of transportation is influenced mainly by the attributes of the means of transportation. In addition, among the socio-economic variables included in the model, only the coefficient of income under saloon cars is significant. Given that motorcycles and tricycles are now dominating the rural transport landscape as an economical way to meet the transport needs of people, rural transport policy in Nigeria should be revised to reflect this reality. The operation of motorcycles and tricycles should be properly mainstreamed in rural transport policy to improve rural transport services. For the second research question, the study uses Multi-Attribute Utility Theory (MAUT) to examine how rural roads in the study area may be prioritized for upgrade to maximize access to key socio-economic facilities. The MAUT uses different criteria: social, economic, demographic, financial, and political. Geographic information system (GIS) techniques are applied to process some of the data used in the performance matrix of the MAUT. The analytical hierarchical procedure (AHP) is used in determining the weights of the criteria. Scenario analyses are also carried out to examine the impact of changes in the weights of the different criteria on the value score of each alternative. The study identifies 10 roads that will yield the highest socio-economic benefits and promote rural accessibility. The study recommends that decision-makers adopt a similar approach in selecting rural roads for upgrade, instead of selecting roads based on mainly political considerations. We also use sampling survey to answer the third question. Data are generated from stakeholders in rural transport infrastructure development in the study area. The data show that the top-5 major challenges to the development of rural road infrastructure in the study area as noted by our respondents are: non-release of funds to contractors; use of rural road projects as political tools and abandoning the roads; poor planning for rural road development; misappropriation and embezzlement of public funds meant for road construction; and lack of funds for maintenance of roads. All of these falls within the economic, political, or institutional categories. The economic and institutional challenges may also be linked to political factors. This suggests that the solution to the challenge is beyond economic.‎‎‎ The solutions seem to be more political than economic, given that most of the economic challenges are subsumed under‎ ‎‎‎political factors/actors

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Economics
SOAS Research Theses
Supervisors Name: Risa Morimoto and Sara Stevano
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2022 11:03
Funders: Other

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