Edited by: Omotosho Ayotomiwa
In Nigeria, business growth and development are greatly influenced by transportation. Transportation enables the movement of goods, services and people from one location to another. However, businesses have found it challenging to move products and services across the nation effectively and affordably as a result of the underdeveloped transportation infrastructure in the country as well as ineffective systems and policies.
The inefficiency of the transportation system has restricted access to goods and services, trade facilitation and foreign investments. The country’s business activities need to be improved by several transportation-related difficulties. This article contains examples of how transportation in Nigeria can deter businesses and solutions to these issues.
Top 7 Reasons Why Transportation Is a Hindrance for Businesses in Nigeria
Nigerian businesses may find transportation to be a hindrance in the following ways:
High Fuel Prices and High Costs of Maintenance
Business owners face difficulties due to the high cost of fuel, vehicle maintenance, and transportation fees. The high cost of transportation can reduce profits for companies with limited resources that depend on transporting products and services like logistics and transport-based businesses. Lower profit margins can make a market less competitive.
Inadequate Transportation Infrastructure
Nigeria’s transportation infrastructure is frequently underutilised and ineffectively administered. Because of the poor state of the roads and highways, businesses find it challenging to transport products and services across the nation. Nigeria’s transportation infrastructure further restricts market access, especially for companies working in outlying or rural areas. Businesses may find it challenging to contact customers and grow as a result. Long wait times for goods and services, missed delivery deadlines, higher expenses, decreased productivity, increased risk of product harm and lower profitability are all caused by this ineffectiveness.
Insecurity is a major issue for transportation in Nigeria. Nigeria’s high crime and insecurity rates impact the business industry, making it challenging for companies to transport products securely. Kidnapping, armed robbery, vehicle theft, hijacking, vandalism and other violent crimes have frequently occurred in the nation, endangering the security of products and services being transported and harming the vehicles. Due to the need for security escorts and insurance to safeguard their goods, businesses now incur higher transportation costs.
Frequent Traffic Congestion
Frequent transportation congestion is another issue, particularly in cities like Lagos. The need for more fuel and upkeep can result in delays in the delivery of products and services. The congestion stresses and frustrates customers and employees, negatively affecting productivity and client satisfaction.
A Source of Pollution
Environmental change will also affect transportation networks. Transportation contributes to air pollution, water pollution, and ecological disruption through various direct and indirect interactions. It can add to deteriorating air quality and a changing climate through emissions from burning fossil fuels. Increased atmospheric turbulence and heat-related aircraft performance degradation could be challenges for the flight industry. All these may negatively affect the provision of goods, services and the health of people involved. There could be increased medical costs brought on by illness, lost productivity at work as a result of sick days, and decreased profit.
Unreliable Public Transportation System
Nigeria’s transportation system cannot handle the country’s rising demand for transportation services. There aren’t enough ports, airports, and terminals to accommodate the volume of products and services moving through the nation. The road network is crowded, and the train system is underdeveloped. This may lead to inefficiencies and loss of business opportunities and raise the possibility of delays.
Unskilled Transportation-related Staff
The Nigerian transportation sector faces a skill gap, making it challenging for companies to hire qualified chauffeurs, mechanics, and other transportation-related workforce. Delays, malfunctions, and other problems that adversely impact company operations are frequently the result of this. Shipping locations may receive incorrect items loaded by unqualified warehouse staff. Customers may become irritated by such over, short, or damaged shipments and decide to make future purchases from a rival.
How Can the Transportation Challenges Affecting Nigerian Businesses Be Mitigated?
Business owners can overcome transportation difficulties and promote business growth by putting these solutions into practice:
- Embrace technology: Businesses can simplify their transportation procedures with technology. Business organisations can monitor shipments, improve routes, and increase productivity by using transportation management software. Employers can also be allowed to work from home.
- Utilize alternate modes of transportation: Depending on the type of company, using alternate modes of transport can be more affordable and environmentally friendly.
- Work with reputable transportation providers: Companies need to find reputable transportation providers. By researching and performing due diligence, businesses can discover transportation providers with a history of on-time delivery, affordable rates, and superior customer service.
- Create a backup plan: Unexpected occurrences like bad weather, traffic congestion, or accidents can delay transit. Businesses can prevent disruptions by creating a back plan that details alternate transit routes or backup suppliers.
- Work with other companies: Working with companies in the same sector can help you save money on transit. Businesses can cut costs and pollution by pooling delivery resources or sharing transportation services.
- Negotiate with suppliers: Business owners can bargain with their providers about transportation costs. They can bargain for better rates and reduce transportation costs by grouping shipments or accepting lengthier lead times.
Government can take several steps to address the transportation challenges that business owners face. Some of these steps are:
- Investing in transportation infrastructure: To increase connectivity and accessibility for companies, governments can engage in transportation infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, railways, ports, and airports.
- Administration and supervision of transportation activities: This will help reduce pollution and assure security in all forms of transportation.
- Developing public transportation: Government can enhance public transportation systems to offer cheap and practical transportation options for businesses and their staff.
- Promoting telecommuting: Government can promote telecommuting (remote) policies in businesses, which can lessen the need for workers to go to work and, as a result, reduce traffic congestion.
- Promoting alternate forms of transportation: By offering incentives, subsidies, and building support, governments can encourage alternate modes of transportation like electric cars and bicycles.
Transportation plays a vital role in the success and expansion of businesses in Nigeria. Sometimes business’s inability to satisfy clients can be attributed to transportation issues. Poor road networks, ineffective transportation systems, inadequate transportation infrastructure, security issues, and a lack of qualified labour make it difficult for businesses to operate in the nation. However, the transportation sector has the potential to spur business growth with the proper actions, policies and investments from both business owners and the government.