One of the challenges to the economics and special wellbeing of Nigerian in the past five years is the steady decline in the number of transport facilities nationwide. Nigeria is presently on the verge of an imminent crisis and a state of paralysis in transportation. The pattern of Nigerian urbanization has many implications on various areas of the country including determining the areas of road traffic origination and destination. Associated with these implications are various urban problems such as unemployment, housing problems, environmental pollution, transportation problems and general inadequacy of infrastructural facilities. This study however is interested in the aspect of urban transportation and its growth over a period of not less than 45 years in the country. Urban transport system can be viewed from two major areas, which are the intra-urban and interurban transport systems. Intra-urban system as it existed today in Nigeria is largely owned by private sector except Lagos and Port Harcourt where public sector also participates along side with the private sector. Until recently too, interurban transport system was wholly dominated by private owners. Urban mobility problems had been on the increase since independence. This is due to rapid increase in population in urban areas, which is not matched with growth in transport facilities such as road network, transport complimentary facilities, transport services and traffic management techniques. Thus urban transport problems have increasingly been noted since 1960, to be characterized by inadequate and inefficient services, long waiting time at bus stop, environmental pollution, traffic congestions, and bad roads, shortage of vehicles and the use of motorcycle as a means of urban passenger transport system. Transportation problems as enumerated above have attracted several government commissioned studies like that of Max Lock, Master Plan for Gombe and Minna; Dar Al-Handasah for Okene, Gombe and Offa; Lea-Deleuw-Osot and Sigmud Grava for Lagos Metropolis. All these studies were intense and were carried out in the country between 1974 and 1978 for the major urban centers in the country as noted by Ogunsanya (1993). There were also non-commissioned studies in the area of transport research work conducted by the academic staff of universities and polytechnic and their students. According to Ogunsanya (1993), the studies are multi-various in nature and multi dimensional in focus depending on the scholar’s discipline and their special area of interest. The nature of urban public transport problems in Nigeria as at today can best be appreciated by looking at the trend of its development since Nigeria came into existence. This is particularly manifested the problems being experienced in our transportation modes such as airways, road and water ways are all over abrasive and are greatly experiencing a number of bottlenecks, and shortage either in rolling (Stocks, number of available public and private vehicles as well as shortage of space parks). Transportation and property are important in physical and economic development of towns and cities all over the world. Property and land values tend to increase in areas with expanding transportation networks, and increase less rapidly in areas without such improvements. Rapid and continued rise in housing and land prices are expected in cities with transportation improvements and rapid economic and population growth (Goldberg, 1970). Man, nations, regions and the world would be severely limited in development without transportation, which is a key factor for physical and economic growth (Oyesiku, 2002). Transportation systems and land use are interdependent. Indeed findings of earlier studies indicate compelling and consistent connections amongst them (Ewing and Cervero, 2001; Polzin, 2004). According to Bailey, Mokhtarian, and Littlel (2008), transportation route is part of distinct development pattern or road network and mostly described by regular street patterns as an indispensable factor of human existence, development and civilization. The route network coupled with increased transport investment result in changed levels of accessibility reflected through Cost Benefit Analysis, savings in travel time, and other benefits. These benefits are noticeable in increased catchment areas for services and facilities like shops, schools, offices, banks, and leisure activities. Road networks are observed in terms of its components of accessibility, connectivity, traffic density, level of service, compactness, and density of particular roads. Level of service is a measure by which the quality of service on transportation devices or infrastructure is determined, and it is a holistic approach considering several factors regarded as measures of traffic density and congestion rather than overall speed of the journey (Mannering, Walter, and Scott, 2004). Access to major roads provides relative advantages consequent upon which commercial users locate to enjoy the advantages. Modern businesses, industries, trades and general activities depend on transport and transport infrastructure, with movement of goods and services from place to place becoming vital and inseparable aspects of global and urban economic survival. Developments of various transportation modes have become pivotal to physical and economic developments. Such modes include human porterage, railways, ropeways and cableways, pipelines, inland waterways, sea, air, and roads (Said and Shah, 2008). According to Oyesiku (2002), urbanization in Nigeria has a long history in its growth and development. Extensive development being a feature of the 19th and 20th centuries, with concentration of economic and administrative decision-making in Lagos, Ibadan, Kaduna, Jos, and Enugu, and high degree of specialization and larger population associated with greater specialization of goods and services. Wyatt (1997) states that urban areas have tendency to develop at nodal points in transport network and places with good road network will possess relative advantage over locations having poor network. Urban locations with such relative advantage are found where different transport routes converge with high degree of compactness, connectivity, density, length and accessibility exhibited within the intra- and inter- urban road networks.
Bye and large, it should be noted that the nature of transportation system of any country is important in determining both the rural plan and the quality of life. In Nigeria, it is important to note that the rapid growth of our nation’s population, the problem of urbanization, the growth of industries and our commitment to rural development are factors that call for an effective implementation of the national transportation coordination policy.