Impact Of Air Transport Sector To Economic Development In Nigeria

Impact Of Air Transport Sector To Economic Development In Nigeria



1.1 Background to the Study

Travelling by has air remained one of the most vital transportation innovations of the twentieth century and it has continued to evolve over the years. It enabled the move- ment of passengers and cargoes in the shortest time and also promoted the demand for both short and long-haul trips. In fact, every part of the world could be accessed by means of airplanes within a 24-hour time frame and thereby promoting globalization. Air transportation has over the decades managed to gain a remarkable market share of the transportation sector in the tourism industry. With the increased number of peo- ple travelling every day by airplanes for different purposes, air transportation would continue to take a central stage in the tourism industry. It has become a very signifi- cant sector of tourism today. It is believed that air transportation has contributed in no small measure in making the world a global village, in other words, it has been a major player in the globalization process.

Air transportation is principally the use of airplanes to convey passengers and cargoes from one point to another and it is a fast evolving sector. Passengers more often than not are predominantly tourists. The tourism industry is interactive and dynamic in na- ture and air transport has remained a major player within the industry. Travelling by air has been made easier and more affordable owing to the emergence of budget airlines (Low Cost Carriers) competing with the legacy airlines (Full Service Airlines) and this practically altered the air travel market. Air transportation is susceptible to technologi- cal advancements and this over the years has continually changed the face of air travel in different dimensions. These changes cut across both technical (hardware, engineering and safety) and service delivery (software – customer service) fronts. Besides, information technology is believed to be the future of air transportation and tourism in general.

However, air transportation is a highly technology driven sector with its challenges and these are factors that affect its operations within the tourism industry. The tourism market is a very vast market and the demand for tourism services has increased tremendously, especially with air transportation in focus. There are factors that affect air transport and they include, but are not limited to; air safety standards, terrorism, cost  of operation, competition, natural disaster, economic recession, epidemics and pandemics, and all this is evident in today`s air transportation management.


Given the fact that transportation Infrastructure is very crucial to the growth of the economy, the situation of Nigeria transportation infrastructure is at a poor state. Recent studies by Adeniji (2000), Innocent C. Obi (2011) shows that: less than 50% of the National road network are in fair or good condition causing an average death of 50 people per day; Less than 300,000 tonnes of freight and less than 2.3 million passenger are been transported by rail; More occurrences of air crashes in the Aviation sector; High rate of congestion in the sea port; and More vandalization of pipeline. When all this losses are added up to economic cost for loss of productive man-hour, it becomes clear that the situation really need urgent attention. However, various research studies have been descriptive showing the importance of having a better transportation infrastructure in place so as to increase the sector contribution to economic growth and development

1.3 Aims and Objectives

The main aim of this thesis is to analyze the impact of air transport sector to economic development in Nigeria.

The specific objectives are:

  1. It involved studying how the air transport business has affected the lives of the people in the region of Lagos economically.
  2. to examine the importance of air transport in a region and identify main visible impacts of air transport in general and the Lagos region in particular.
  3. The economy of Lagos and the Murtala Muhammed Airport business activities will



The study is justified by the need to provide empirical understanding of the impact of transportation infrastructure improvement to the economic growth of Nigeria and how it influences the development process. Thus, there is no doubt that transportation is essential in operation of a market economy; Planners needs guidance based on solid grounds, to aid in their decision to improve existing transportation and build new infrastructure. As stated by Boopen(2006), Transport improvement have opportunity cost in terms of alternative investment that can be carried out by the government. To ensure that resources are well allocated, policy makers need to have empirical base on which to draw their plan. An empirical knowledge of how transportation infrastructure improvement will affect economic growth need to be established so that adequate plan can be made for the transport sector. Also, there is the need to have a direct linkage between transport infrastructure and economic growth, in which prediction can be made to determine the level of transport investment that can achieve a desired level of economic growth.

If capital improvements in transportation facilities lead to greater development than when capital is used in other areas, then planner should realize the benefits to be gained by developing the transportation infrastructure. If on other hand, capital improvement in transportation facilities cannot be linked to economic performance, then scarce resource could, perhaps, be put to better use. There is therefore the need to examine the linkage between transport infrastructure and the economic growth of developing countries, particularly Nigeria, in order to help policy makers formulate policies that will favour the transport sector to enhance growth of economy. To the people, this study will enlighten them more on the important of having a better transport system; To students and researchers, this study reveal the current situation in the sector by adding to the work done by other researcher so as to provide base for future research; To the policy maker this study will reveal the state of transport infrastructure across the country making them known that more funds and implementation of policy already made is needed critically to be in place in the sector.

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