ROAD TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT AND CUSTOMER SATISFACTION IN NIGERIA
1.1 Background of the Study
Transportation is no doubt an indispensable catalyst for activating and stimulating the tempo of economic, social, political, and strategic development in any society. Thus, the effective and efficient functioning of urban centers depends on the provision of basic infrastructures one of the most important being transport. This implies that transport infrastructure has to be rationally developed to ensure that movement of people and goods takes place speedily, economically, safely, comfortably, and in an environmentally-friendly manner (Sumaila, 2012). As compliments, there must also be strategic transport infrastructural development to enable all available transport modes to be properly harnessed, stream-lined, and integrated for socio-economic and defense purposes (Gbujie, 2003).
Transport according to Hornby (2000:1275) is conveying or being conveyed or a means of conveyance from one place to another. It is the movement or displacement of persons, good,s 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, 1982: 265). This could be by water, land, or air. It is possible that since the man from the 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).
Road transportation is a factor of land transport that involves the movement of people and goods by motor cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, and bicycles. It is the most popular means of transport (Areola, 1999; Atubi and Onokala, 2003; Atubi, 2005a). As a popular form of land transport, road transportation can contribute greatly to national development when made efficient. However, road transportation in Nigeria is far from being efficient. According to the web (2006), poor maintenance and years of heavy freight traffic have made much of the road system in Nigeria barely usable.
In the same vein, Filani (1982: 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 lifestream of society flows (the people, information, raw materials, and finished products) which help to build and maintain the society. 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 in our society and economy at large.
Transportation is referred to as the engine of the economy (Kunri 2005:79). This means that without a transportation management system, the entire economy will suffer stagnation. Transportation helps to bridge the gap between producers, suppliers, and industrials 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, 2000). Transport systems provide a key to the understanding and operation of many other systems at any different scale. 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 O’ Hare, 1984).
Transportation helps to bridge the gap between producers, suppliers, and industrial users as well as individual commuters. There is hardly any human society or human settlement system that can function efficiently and effectively without adequate, reliable, safe, and affordable transport systems. The most fundamental reason for this being the catalytic effect of transport development on socio-economic growth and development (NISER, 2001).
Research has shown that transportation alone accounts 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 accomplished in the manufacturing, distribution of goods and services including the movement of people without transportation. 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, customer’s patronage, and past purchase satisfaction. This poor transportation management can therefore jeopardize the source of procurement of materials; goods and services, movement of people, and even course increase in prices and loss of lives.
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 problems facing development planners and of the most makers in the country reside in the transport sector.
Transportation is inherently central to the development of nations. It is not only a necessity to live but also has a resultant of nations. It is not only a necessity to live but also have a resultant effect on all aspect of human existence. (Oyesiku, 2002). It provides access to goods, services, and social activities to maintain a good quality of life. It is fundamental in breaking isolation and thus strengthening the individual capital base (World Bank Report, 2002; Odufuwa, 2006).
Transportation has been a major contributor to the economic competitive force in business. It is the activity that physically connects the business to its supply chain partners, such as suppliers and customers, and it is a major influence on the customer’s satisfaction with the country. Transporting is required in the whole production procedures, from manufacturing to delivery to the final consumers and returns. Only good co-ordination between each component would bring the benefits to a maximum.
In many Nigerian cities today, the transportation situation has reached a crisis point. This is the consequence of several years of neglect by succeeding administrations. Therefore, it is not out of place to state transportation in Nigeria is grossly inadequate (Filani, 2002; Oyesiku, 2002; Odufuwa, 2003 and Atubi, 2009).
The impact of this distressing sector on the economy or the ensuring crisis is severe, with the urban poor suffering more than any other group. The growing transport paucity has had a debilitating effect on the lives of the people and it has continued to trap and push its catchment towards poorer livelihoods. The most devastating problem has been the lack of sustainable mobility and frequent deviant driving behaviors as an escape measure (Odufuwa, Ademiluyi, and Adedeji, 2008).
Studies over the years shown that the condition of urban transportation in Nigeria is in a deplorable state (Filani, 1988; Adeniji, 2000; Ogunsanya, 2003, Ademiluyi and Gbadamosi, 2004). These scholars affirm that more than 70% of Nigeria roads are substandard and hardly networked. Traveling on Nigerian roads is breathtaking and most un-pleasurable. This stated condition emanates from combined effects of natural aging of transport infrastructure, lack of maintenance, wrong use of available transport infrastructure, ineffective implementation and enforcement of traffic rules and regulations (Odufuwa, 2007). From all indications, there is a high level of poverty among urban households in the country. The transport infrastructure and services generally require a complete overhauling or repair in other to make them physically sound. Also, worth mentioning, are the land use mix factors that the intra-urban travel. The land use mix factor affects the intra-urban travel behavior and it has a profound influence on urban transport planning and management in general (Oyesiku, 2002). However, Atubi and Onokala (2003), in their study of road transportation and the socio-0economic development in Warri metropolis, concluded that road transportation indeed contributes tremendously to the socio-economic development of that metropolis. But this some transport that builds a city, also in other ways if not properly managed causes some damage to the same city (Ogunsanya, 2002).
Customer satisfaction is considered to be the most factor whether it is meant for a product or a service. In case of failure to satisfy customers, companies will be replaced by others. Industries offering various services have to be more vigilant because there is a special attitude that plays an important role in attracting and retaining customers. Whether the buyer is satisfied after purchase depends on the offer's performance in relation to the buyer's expectation. In general, satisfaction is a person’s feeling of pleasure or disappointment resulting from comparing a product's perceived performance in relation to his or her expectation. If an organization’s transportation performance falls short of expectations in any circumstance, the customer is dissatisfied. If the performance matches the expectation, the customer is satisfied. If the performance exceeds the expectation the customer is highly satisfied. Based on that the topic under research is “Road transportation Management and customer’s satisfaction”. This research seeks to identify the problem and find out possible measures and solution to the problems
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Poor road transportation management is one major problem that is affecting the growth of the economy. Poor road transportation management has led to the ineffectiveness and collapse of the Nigerian road system that supposed to carry bulky goods from one city to another and has made inflation to be high. This in turn has bounced as the road transportation system characterized by heavy-duty lorries overworking the road system and the resultant effect is damages of roads causing accidents and loss of lives and property. Poor management of the Peace mass transit transportation system has caused the breakdown of vehicles that have resulted in goods and movement of people not being able to reach their destination on time. This poor management of road transportation systems has cost the nation a damaged image, loss of a huge amount of money, loss of lives and properties, and most customers are greatly dissatisfied with the condition of road transportation in Nigeria. Lack of poor technological development to monitor or regulate the speed of vehicles, lack of clean vehicles, high overloading of men and goods are great problems to road transportation. In addition, the poor attitude of drivers towards their passengers is nothing to write home about.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to evaluate road transportation management and satisfaction to customers. Specific objectives include;
i. To evaluate the impact of road transportation management and customer satisfaction.
ii. To identify the relationship between road transportation management and customer satisfaction.
iii. To evaluate the role played by road transportation management in the movement of goods and services.
1.4 Research Questions
i. What is the impact of road transportation management and customer satisfaction?
ii. Is there a relationship between road transportation management and customer satisfaction?
iii. Does road transportation management play an important role in the movement of goods and services?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
H0: There is no significant impact on road transportation management and customer satisfaction.
Hi: There is a significant impact on road transportation management and customer satisfaction.
H0: There is no relationship between road transportation management and customer satisfaction
Hi: There is a relationship between road transportation management and customer satisfaction.
Ho: Road transportation management plays no important role in the movement of goods and services.
Hi: Road transportation management plays an important role in the movement of goods and services.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will be useful to many sectors of the economy, as little research has been done on this area. Thus, road transport companies, the ministry of works, transport, and Academics will benefit immensely from this study. Also, the commuters, manufacturing companies, and businessmen especially the middlemen will equally benefit from the study. This study will also be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more about this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other studies.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This research work covers the road transportation system in Nigeria with a special focus on PMT, their functions operationalization, problems, and government policies to regulate this industry to deliver maximum satisfaction to the public.
1.8 Limitations of the study
The demanding schedule of respondents made it very difficult to get the respondents to participate in the survey. As a result, retrieving copies of the questionnaire in a timely fashion was very challenging. Also, the researcher is a student and therefore has limited time as well as resources in covering extensive literature available in conducting this research. Information provided by the researcher may not hold true for all research under this study but is restricted to the selected respondents used as a study in this research especially in the locality where this study is being conducted. Finally, the researcher is restricted only to the evidence provided by the participants in the research and therefore cannot determine the reliability and accuracy of the information provided. Other limitations include;
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview).
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted to the research work.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Road Transportation: Road transport or road transportation is a type of transport by using roads. Transport on roads can be roughly grouped into the transportation of goods and transportation of people. In many countries licensing requirements and safety regulations ensure a separation of the two industries.
Road Transportation Management: This is an industry-led, voluntary self-regulation scheme that encourages consignees, consignors, and transport operators engaged in the road logistics value chain to implement a management system (a set of standards) with outcomes that contribute to preserving road infrastructure, improving road safety & increasing productivity.
Customer Satisfaction: It is a measure of how products and services supplied by a company meet or surpass customer expectations. Customer satisfaction is defined as "the number of customers, or percentage of total customers, whose reported experience with a firm, its products, or its services (ratings) exceeds specified satisfaction goals..