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The importune of the Nigerian railway corporation in the socio-economic development of Nigeria cannot be over emphasis. However, this has not been so. The performance of NRC for the past two decades has been that of a disappointment. The Nigerian railway corporation is completely died. This study is aimed at assessing the implication of the collapse of NRC to the socio-economic development of Nigeria. In doing this, the survey design was adopted to generate date for the study. Both the second and primary data were obtained. Primary data was obtained through questionnaire administered, and interview conducted on some sample population. Simple statistical tools like, table, frequency and percentages were used to analyse the data obtained. Two hypotheses were postulated to give the study a focus. The findings from the study shows that the major problem of NRC has been in the areas of its operation, and management, among others, this has led to the total neglect of NRC by the government and its eventual collapse. The researcher recommends that government should adopt the recommendation of Bureau for Public Enterprise on the split and eventual privatisation of the Nigeria Railways. The researcher however recommends that, governments should embark on rehabilitation of NRC. And funds should be made available for this, before is eventual privatise to attract investors
1.1 Background to the Study From the time of political independence in the 1950s and 1960s, most governments of developing nations made the public sector to play a central role in their economies, particularly in the provision of social services. The principal reason for the emergence of the public sector in a country is the government’s decision to intervene directly and actively in the economy in order to achieve purpose or objectives of its development plan. In achieving this developmental goal, public enterprises were established to play the leading role in the economic activities of these nations. In Nigeria, public enterprises were created mainly to foster development and National integration. Nigeria like most developing countries, has since independence and in the decade of the seventies of the oil boom years developed particularly large public enterprises incorporating economic activities such as Banking and insurance, oil prospecting, exploration, exploration, refining and marketing. In short, they are involved in the power, telecommunication, transport, manufacturing sectors. The following quotation from Nigeria’s second National Development Plan 1970/74 typifies the rational for the development of public enterprises in Nigeria. “Statutory corporations and state owned companies have become an important tool of public intervention in the development process. Their primary purpose is to stimulate and accelerate national economic development under conditions of capital security and structural defects in private business organisations. There are also basic 2 considerations arising from the dangers of leaving vital sectors of the national economy to the whims of the private sectors often under the direct remote control of foreign large scale industrial combines. Public enterprises are thus crucial in Nigeria’s quest fro the true national economic independence and self- reliance. Federal Government Investments as at 30th November, 1990, was put at over N36 billion at their historical book values. At today’s replacement costs, they are probably worth over N100 billion. The returns from these investments never exceeded 2% per annum, which is less than 25% of the annual subventions from the government to the parastatal sector (Abubakasr (2002 ,P: 3) But the countries experience with public enterprises, as been that of a disappointment. Several reasons were advance as the causes for their poor performance. They include; political relations with parent ministries, politically appointed managerial personnel, poor financing, lack of administrative autonomy, uneconomic localization of industries, poorly defined goals and objectives, low managerial capacity, contentions relating between management and boards of directors, fraud or corruption, poor feasibility studies before embarking on projects and poor internal organisation structure. These public enterprises become a drilling pipe for corrupt government official and their private collaborators to siphon large sum of government money. As rightly put by the World Bank (1986). 3 Public enterprises constitute one of the major areas of governmental expenditure and from which there is no hope of profits. As such that thy are therefore the major causes of indebtedness throughout the 3rd world, gobbling-up in some cases more than 50% of external credits. From the World Bank report, it is clear that huge part of Nigerian National debts are indeed debts incurred by public enterprises. The decline and the deterioration in the performance of these public enterprises has always been a serious concern to every successive government of Nigeria. These public enterprises are not only inefficient but also ineffective in terms of the services they render and the revenues generated. Among these public enterprises is the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC). The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) was one of the public enterprises that the Nigerian government inherited as the time of independence in 1960. NRC was one of the oldest public enterprises in Nigeria. The Railways services stated in 1901 and was legalize officially with the passage of NRC Act of 1955 for the purpose of carriage of passengers and foreign in a cost effective manner. It was the cheapest safest mode of transportation in Nigeria up till the 70s. Its establishment was seen as a way of opening up the interiors areas of the country for economy activities. So its role as a vehicle to foster social economic development of the country then cannot be over emphasized. The development of railways in Nigeria in the early 20th century, which was legacy of colonial government contributed to the growth of many town that ultimately become large industrial and commercial cities, such as Kano, Kaduna, 4 Zaria, Jos, Ibadan, Lagos, Enugu etc. the railways also helped to developed the potential of tourism as well as fostering infrastructural development in the country. Today, that can not be saw of NRC the decline and deteriorating condition of Nigerian railway corporation since the 70s has been a source of concern to successor government of the country. As of today the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) is completely dead. This study is out to assess the effect of NRC non performance to social economic development of Nigeria. 1.2 Statement of the Problem The Nigeria Railway Corporation is the oldest government corporation in Nigeria. The railway until late 70s was the dominant means or mode of transpiration in the country. Then the railway was seen as a catalyst for social economic development. The railways then according to Asika (2000) play the following roles. i. It was the first largest employer of labour then even perhaps more than the civil service. ii. It offered the cheapest and most efficient means of transportation iii. It was environmentally friendly and recorded few accidents in history iv. It is one important source of unification of Nigeria and up till now the symbol of unity, v. Nigerian ports Authority (NPA) grew out of NRC’s Marine Department and NPA until 1982 was a department under NRC even NEPA, Post Office and telecommunication grew out of it. 5 But for the past two decades, the Railway has not been able to live up to its expectation. It is evident when one visits one of the stations that the railway is at the brink of collapse. Despite various efforts by successive governments of Nigeria to revive the corporation, uptil date, there seem not to no meaningful improvement. The government of Nigeria did not help issues rather, as the railway is seen as irrelevant in today economy. This wrong in notion by the political class has made the corporation to be abandoned to die a natural death. The major problem of NRC has been adduced by many as that of management problem, this lead to the government inviting RITES, a management consultant from Indian in 1980 to manage the NRC for the period of three years. Few years after their exist, the NRC is worst of more than it was before the RITES of India came. The invitation of China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) by the Nigerian Government in 1996 to revitalize the Nigerian NRC did not help matter. The NRC as it is today is ghost of it formal self. With the past vital roles of railway transport past, it is evident that the Nigerian Railway has the potential of transforming social economic development as it has done in the past. The Nigerian Railway Corporation can be of the following benefit. i. It can serve as a catalyst for the development of Nigeria ii. It is capable of generating employment to several unemployed Nigeria, thus reducing the rate of unemployment in the country 6 iii. It is capable of reducing the rate of accident from the use of other mode of transportation, as it is not prove to accident iv. It is capable of providing better environmental friendly transport services than any other mode of transport because it has a more wider and spread connectivity. v. Has the capacity of bulk movement of goods over a long distance more than any other form of overland transport. Whereas the maximum pay load weight of a truck is 30 tonnes, a railway wagon carries an average load of 35-49 tonne and about 20-30 of such wagons could form a train loan. Furthermore, because of rail transport capacity for bulk movement, line-haul unit cost is relatively low and cheap. vi. It offers very strong determinant in the implementation of inter-modality, thereby encourages and supports the general integration of other modes of transport together. vii. It can also stimulate and accelerate economical and other economic activities in their area of connectivity. viii. It can also foster infrastructural development of these areas. In view of the social economic relevance or important of railway to the as well as development of the country, it would be wrong to treat the problem of railway with levity. The present plight in which the Nigerian Railway corporation found itself is not good for the development of the country as the cooperation would have lost 7 much due to its collapse or demise. This study is motivated by these reason that is, to assess the effect of Nigerian Railway Corporation to the social economic development of the country. Ajiboye (2002) is of the opinion that availability of rail transportation gingered or attracted much commercial activities in the various station. Also according to him with the high cost of petroleum product and with little or no alternative energy source in most parts of the world, most especially in Nigeria, the introduction of fast, reliable and efficient rail transportation will be a welcome relief to many people, families and organisations. Since it would reduce fuel consumption and enable them to save and invest more. 1.3 Aim of the Study The major objective of this study is to appraise the contributions of Nigerian Railway Corporation to the socio-economic development of Nigeria. That is how the collapse of the railway as affect socio-economic development of the nation. Specific objectives include; i. To assess the performance of NRC vis a- vis this past roles as an Engine for social economic development ii. Examine the reasons for it present non-performance iii. Determine the factors responsible for its non performance 8 iv. Suggest or recommend the best way in which the Nigeria Railway Corporation will again become a catalyst for socio-economy development in Nigeria. 1.4 Statement of Hypotheses The following hypotheses were employed in this study 1. That the operational and management inefficiency of the NRC has a significant effect on its performance. 2. The failure of NRC to perform its role as a vehicle for socio-economic transformation is a consequences of its non- performance. 4. That the NRC has failed to contribute to the socio-economic development due to its inefficiency. 1.5 Scope and Limitation of the Study The study attempt to assess the effect of NRC collapse on socio-economic development of Nigeria. The socio-economic indexes to be considered include employment, and development of infrastructure facilities and National income. The duration of the study is from 1980-2000). The major limitation of this study is dearth of relevant data as some information needed was not easily available both at the corporation Head quarters and the present ministry of transport. it is also limited by time and fiancé and as the time is not available to ensure that all the stations in the country are reached. 9 1.6 Significance of the Study The present situation or condition in the NRC has been a cause of worry, not only the government but the overwhelming majority of people of Nigeria especially those that are patronizing NRC services. The essence of this study is to appraise the effect of NRC collapse on socio-economic development. Many studies carried out focused on the causes of the non-performance of the corporation without looking at the effect on the socio economic development of the nation. The study will re-engineer or motivate the government to realise the socioeconomy implication of the collapse of NRC on the economy of Nigeria. The study will also reveal the socio-economic importance of NRC and what the Nigerian government and the generality of the people, especially the masses will benefit if NRC can be resuscitated. It is believed that the research will assist and guides the Federal Government in taking appropriate measure in term of policy making to resuscitate NRC and to ensure its efficiency not only in the transportation of goods and passengers, but also in enhancing rapid development. The study will also assist the management of NRC to adopt new policy measure through knowledge gain in this research study to administered or manage the corporation effectively and efficiently. In addition to the policy value, the study is expected to contribute immensely to the body of knowledge on transport administration in Nigeria and it 10 will assist other researcher carrying out further studies on the rail sector and as well as the transport system in general. 1.7 Methodology For the purpose of this study, the following techniques are used to collect and analyse data. 1.7.1 Source of Data For the collection of data for the purpose of this work, both the primary and secondary methods of collection of data would be used. a) Secondary Data Data was obtained through the examination of official documents and publications of Nigeria Railway Corporation, Federal Ministry of transport, National Institutes of Transport Technology, NITT Zaria, and the Federal Office of Statistics. Other source of secondary data include, journal, seminal papers, bulletins, articles, documents from both local and International Research Institutions. Also relevant data were obtained from newspapers and magazines. b) Primary Data The major instrument for the collection of primary data in this study is through the questionnaire and interview. Both the close and open-ended question were utilised to elicit responses from the respondents. Interviews were also 11 conducted to complement information drawn from the questionnaires. The interview gave the researcher the opportunity to clarify some issues that are not stated in the questionnaires. It also affords the researcher to interpret unspoken actions, postulations and facial expression, which sometime speaks louder than words. SAMPLE DESIGN 1.7.2 Population and Sample Size The population of this study constitutes the entire beneficiaries of the services of NRC which due to lack of data could not be ascertained. In lacking sampling for the purpose of this study the random and cluster sampling method was utilised. Since the study covers the entire activities of NRC in Nigeria, the researcher would adopt the cluster sampling method in selecting the area of study. The researcher recognising that NRC in Nigeria is divided into five districts each of these district would be recognised as a cluster. As such, a number of staff and passenger of Nigeria Railways Corporation would be randomly selected from each of these districts. The five districts are Lagos, which is the headquarters of NRC, Western District, with headquarter in Ibadan, Eastern with headquarters in Enugu, Northern with Headquarters in Zaria, North Central with Headquarters in Kafanchan North East with Headquarters in Bauchi. 12 In each of the district 32 staff respondent were randomly selected from the senior carde of NRC while 50 to beneficiary respondent were randomly selected from each of the district. The analysis of the sampling size is tabulated below. The rational for chosen these five districts is because they represent the major are of activities of the corporation and also represent the geo-political are of the country. District or Division of the Nigeria Railway District Headquarters Sample size Total Staff Beneficiary Lagos Ebute – Metta 32 70 102 Western Ibadan 32 70 102 Northern Zaria 32 70 102 Eastern Enugu 32 70 102 North Central Kafanchan 32 70 102 North Eastern Central Bauchi 32 70 102 Grand total 192 420 612 Source the survey Questionnaire Administration From the table a total of 612 questionnaires were distributed to the prospective respondents, that is the staff and the beneficiaries of the corporation. The total number of 401 questionnaires filled and returned while 19 were not returned or not adequately filled, as such, a total sample size of 401 responses from would be utilised for the purpose of analysis for the study. The total sample size is 612 and the researcher is of the opinion that the number is adequate and reliable to drawn conclusion in this research study. 13 1.7.3 Statistical Totals Used for Data Analysis The statistical tools or instrument used for the analysis presentation and of the data collected for this study includes, table, frequency and percentages. 1.8 Definition of Terms 1. Development:- The concept of development is multi-dimensional in nature and this has led to the emergence of various definitions by different scholars. They include, d. Govlet, Dudly sees, M. Todaro, W. Rodney, etc. But for the purpose of the definition, Todaro would be adopted. Todaro (1982:120) view development as “a multidimensional process involving changes in structure, attitudes and institutions as well as the acceleration of economic growth, the reduction of inequality and eradication of poverty.” 2. Socio-Economic Development can be view as development in both the economic and social sphere o a people or a notion. The major indicators of solid economic development includes, employment, health, education, GNP. Infrastructural development (i.e. roads, communication, power, water, sanitation, etc). 3. Efficiency:- The ratio of input to output. Efficiency is attained when the output is higher than the input. 4. Inefficiency:- This is an opposite of efficiency. When the input is more than the output. 14 5. Effectiveness:- Effectiveness is achieved when objectives of an organisation is achieved. 6. Performance:- This is the output of an organisation in terms of the goods and service it provides. Performance is measured by assessing the quality of goods and services. So it is possible for an organisation to achieve efficiency without performane.