Public Administration Project Topics

Effect of Overpopulation on Traffic Congestion in Lagos



 Background of the study

Overpopulation refers to a population which exceeds its sustainable size within a particular environment or habitat. Overpopulation results from an increased birth rate, decreased death rate, the immigration to a new ecological niche with fewer predators, or the sudden decline in available resources. Therefore, overpopulation describes a situation in which a population in a given ecosystem limit the resources available for survival Overpopulation can have several effects on the environment, as well as other species within an ecological system. Indeed, human overpopulation has resulted in technological advances which have increased human lifespan and fertility, and consequently placed pressure on global resources. Such effects are such that the planet is currently in a novel geological epoch called the Anthropocene. In general, overpopulation results in an ecological disruption as resources are depleted. This disruption can lead to the decline of other populations which compete for the same resources. Typically, such effects result in the cycling between periods of population growth and periods of population decline until it can reach homeostasis within a particular ecological niche. Some examples of naturally regulated population growth are rodents, rabbits, and various insect populations (e.g., army worms and locusts). In situations of overpopulation caused by the introduction of a foreign species for which they have no natural predators, they can become an invasive species. An example is the inadvertent introduction of zebra mussels to the North American water systems. Since zebra mussels are natively from the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, they have no natural predators in the foreign ecosystems of North America and parts of Europe. As such, zebra mussels quickly became an invasive species, clogging water treatment pipes, affecting power plants, and impacting the local freshwater fish populations. It is estimated that the overpopulation of zebra mussels has cost approximately $5 billion USD since their introduction. The image below illustrates an infestation of zebra mussels on a North American lock due to the overpopulation of zebra mussels in the North American waterways. Other economic effects of overpopulation include those caused by crop destruction, as seen with the overpopulation of rabbits in Australia. While the overpopulation of rabbits destroyed farmers crops, leading to poor yields, the continent also experienced a loss of native plant species, as well as the removal of precious topsoil due to erosion.

It has been argued that there is no single widely accepted definition of traffic congestion. The reason for this is associated with operational and user perspectives. The Joint Transport Research Centre (2007) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) provide the following definitions of traffic congestion to reflect the different broad perspectives: Congestion is a situation in which demand for road space exceeds supply. Congestion is the impedance vehicles impose on each other, due to the speed-flow relationship, in conditions where the use of a transport system approaches capacity. Congestion is essentially a relative phenomenon that is linked to the difference between the roadway system performance that users expect and how the system actually performs.

Lagos is one of the most congested cities in the world. 40 per cent of cars in Nigeria are registered in Lagos. Commuters spend at least three hours in traffic each day. Traffic congestion leads to many problems for the residents of Lagos. For example, the fatal accident rate in Lagos is 28 per 100,000 people. This is three times greater than in most European cities. Also, air pollution is over 5 times greater than the recommended limit The Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) was set up by the Lagos state government in 2003 to improve transport in the city. The Authority set up a bus rapid transit (BRT) system that runs from north-south from the suburbs to the CBD on Lagos Island. The system provides a dedicated land for buses. Over 200,000 people use the system each day. The public transport system is supported by a large fleet of minibus taxis called ‘danfos’. These buses are designed to carry ten to fifteen people but often carry more.

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Statement of research problem

The issue of overpopulation in Nigeria especially Lagos state is quite worrisome. In the sense that alternate methods of traffic management such as construction of new routes, flyovers, oneway, odd and even numbers, etc which have earlier failed on their own to solve congestion problems in cities such as Lagos, Port Harcourt, Benin-City, etc. The limitation in the TIS approach lies in the possibility of some road users not tuning to radios, or the radio stations not devoting the entire airtime to traffic information. However, with the level of technology available today, the use of Variable Messaging Signs (VMS) located at strategic points on the road may provide a suitable alternative to the TIS. Also, the problems of intra-urban traffic in Lagos Nigeria have been studied by Bashiru and Waziri (2008). The study found that 57% of commuters and motorists spend between 30 to 60 minutes on the road due to traffic congestion. They also found that the worst traffic congestion occurred on Mondays. This agrees with similar findings by Agbonika (2011) for Abuja City. Bashiru and Waziri (2008) listed the causes of traffic congestion in Lagos to include the following: Presence of pot holes/bad road, trading activities, on-street parking, loading and discharging of passengers, illegal bus stops, flooding/poor drainage, vehicle

breakdown, narrow road sections, religious activities, high volume of traffic, lack of parking space and lack of traffic light at some road intersections.

Objectives of the study

The primary objective of the study is as follows:

1.     To find out the causes and effect of overpopulation.

2.     To find out causes of traffic congestion in Lagos state.

3.     To find out the solution to the effect of overpopulation on traffic congestion in Lagos state.

Research questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

1.     What are the causes and effect of overpopulation?

2.     What are the causes of traffic congestion in Lagos state?

3.     Do you think there is solution to overpopulation and traffic congestion in Lagos?

Significance of the study

The significance of this study cannot be underestimated as:

l  This study will examine effect of overpopulation on traffic congestion in Lagos.

l  The findings of this research work will undoubtedly provide the much needed information to Lagos state traffic management, lagos state government, individual  and academia.

Scope of the study

This study examines impact of football on the mental well-being of a fan. hence, this study will be delimited  to Lagos state

Limitations of the study

This study was constrained by a number of factors which are as follows:

just like any other research, ranging from unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, inability to get data

Financial constraint , was faced by  the researcher ,in getting relevant materials  and  in printing and collation of questionnaires

Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher

Operational definition of terms

Effect: a change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause.

Overpopulation: the condition of being populated with excessively large numbers

Traffic congestion: a condition in transport that is characterised by slower speeds, longer trip times, and increased vehicular queuing.


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