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1.1       Background of the Study

A port as an interface between maritime transport and domestic sector plays a key role in the development of any nation. In fact, there is a serious need in most developing countries to move goods and resources from placed where their marginal utility is relatively low to places where enormous physical and economic activities are in progress. 

Port which is a sub-system of maritime industry could be described as clearing house where all maritime activities are linked and integrated together and where formative activities relating to shipping and maritime are assembled. Better still, it could also be referred to the geographical points or nodal points along any given shore line where the mode of transportation changes from water borne to land or vice- versa.

            Against this background, coupled with the increasing awareness that transport is the bedrock on which mobility and accessibility must be built, successive government in most less developed countries have been making considerable efforts at developing the transport sector.In Nigeria, such attempt dated back to 1955 when the Port Act of 1954 became operational.One significant lesson from all export-led growth theory is that the export sector is the engine of growth and a leading sector through which change is transmitted to other factors.

            Therefore, externally induced economic development requires the provision of transport, and port infrastructure needed to effect the movement of goods and services between a country and her trade patterns. In Nigeria, the comparative modern system of international exchange and the dramatic changes in the trend of the nation’s export base from non-oil to oil has made it clear that the commercial success of any export industry in a developing country obviously depends on the ability to integrate effectively into the international trade network.

            Since most trade flow between developing and industrial countries are carried out on the seas, shipping and port are particularly important.Economic growth of many less developed countries is closely linked with the expansion of foreign trade most of which is carried by maritime transport.Maritime transport cost can act as a serious barrier to international trade while reduced transport cost could easily be passed on in the form of reduced export price.

            Given that over 75% of goods in international trade are carried by sea, efforts to develop maritime transport have been on the increase in Nigeria.Also these efforts, particularly the National Shipping Policy Decree gave birth to the National Maritime Authority which is now known as Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.  Whose establishment was necessitated by the desire to fully promote and develop the nation’s maritime resources, protect and encourage indigenous shipping companies as well as generate accruable revenue for national development.

            Consequently, the essential problem necessitating this research is to investigate the contributions of maritime transport productivity to the nation’s economic success as well as examine the effectiveness of government policies on maritime transport towards the achievement of economic growth and development in Nigeria.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

            Given the numerous problems identified in the background of this study, it is highly imperative that certain hypothetical statements will be made; consequently, the following Null hypothesis is generated for statistical tests later in this study.

  1. Economic development does not depend on maritime productivity in Nigeria?
  2. Apapa Port complex has no significant contributions to the productivity (GDP) of the transport sector in Nigeria?
  3. Government policy is the bane of the development of maritime transport in Nigeria?
  4. Port revenue generation could be improved with additional provision of modern operational cargo handling equipment and ports infrastructure?

1.3       Aim and Objectives of the Study

            The aim of this study is to assess the relevance of maritime transport to Nigeria economic development, while the specific objectives are to:

  1. to determine the contribution of Apapa Port productivity to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the transport sector.
  2. to highlight the different modes of transport and the relevance each mode has to the economic development of Nigeria.
  3. to analyze, present and interpret different data that will be gathered during course of the study.

1.4       Research Hypothesis

            The research hypotheses will be:

Null hypothesis (H0

H0        Economic development does not depend on maritime productivity in Nigeria?

H1        Economic development does depend on maritime productivity in Nigeria?

H0        Government policies are not the bane of maritime transport development in Nigeria?

H1        Government policies are the bane of maritime transport development in Nigeria?



1.5       Significance of the Study

            As a result of recent port development in the country, the issue of maritime transport has become a great concern to the government.Like other developing countries, Nigeria is yet to catch-up with the latest technological development in its maritime industry.There is the need to lay more emphasis on modern technology in the shipping operations for effective cargo handlings.

            This can be achieved by creating an enabling environment to assist port users in clearing their goods, through some efficient, cost effectiveness and time saving procedure which were introduced by the then Minister of Transport Dr. Ojo Maduekwe, by reducing many tables of documentation in the Nigerian Ports Authority. The affected departments are accounts department, marketing and traffic department.

            Obviously, there exist a good number of port-users who would have made remarkable impact but, for lack of sufficient knowledge of port operation and procedure coupled with uncoordinated security operation and undue bureaucracy which often impede the efficient maritime transport development.

            However, based on the assertion, the relevance of this study become clearer as it will address some of the issues, and useful recommendations that will be made to alleviate the problems identified.   

1.6       Scope of the Study

            This research work covered maritime transport and economic development in Nigeria, and specific emphasis will be placed on Apapa Port.The project will be carefully arranged into five chapters. The first chapter is on introduction. Statement of the problem,research hypothesis, objective of the study, scope of the study, significance of the study and limitation of the study. While the second chapter, reviewed relevant literature on transportation and economic development, different mode of transport to economic development. 

The third chapter will present research methodology using research instrument such as primary and secondary data.Chapter four will deal with the presentation, data analysis and interpretation of results.Finally, the last chapter will be on summary, conclusion and recommendation.

1.7       Limitation of the Study

            The study of this research is therefore imperative because of the relevant obstacle to maritime transport development are to be identified and corrected.In addition, suggestions were made in the course of the  study and can further enhance maritime transport contributions to the nation’s economic development and while many studies would have been done on maritime transport contributions to economic development, available records indicate that none has been published relating to the Nigeria economy.  

            Finally, non-availability of relevant materials, finances, and time factors and the general problems facing maritime transportation in Nigeria and their solution.

1.8       Definition of Operational Terms

  • Economicdevelopment: This can be defined as a sustained increase or continuous rise in output per head or capital income.
  • GrossDomesticProduct (GDP): This can be defined as the monetary value of the aggregate output i.e. goods and services produced in a country over given period of time usually a year.
  • Maritimetransportation: This is the movement of people and cargoes from one place of geographical area to another through the sea.
  • Port: This can be described as the nodal point or clearing place where all maritime activities are linked and integrated together during formative activities relating to shipping and maritime are assembled.
  • Transportation: This is the movement of people, goods and services from one place or geographical area to another through different modes of transport such as Rail, Sea, Air, Pipeline and water etc.