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This study comparatively assessed the effect of motorcycle and tricycle (keke) on socio-economic activities in Abraka. The main focus of this study was to examine the socio-economic effect of motorcycle and tricycle mode of transportation in Abraka. A total of 100 questionnaires were distributed to the respondents in Abraka. The result of the first hypothesis indicates that there is a significant relationship between motorcycle use and socio-economic activities at the 0.05 level of confidence. The result of the second hypothesis indicates that there is a significant relationship between keke napep use and socio-economic activities at the 0.05 level of confidence. The result of the third hypothesis reveals that there is a significant difference between the socio-economic effect of motorcycle and tricycle at the 0.05 level of confidence. The study recommends that government should create job opportunities and employment for the people so as to reduce the adverse effect of motorcycle and tricycle (keke) on socio-economic activities in Abraka.








1.1     Introduction

Transport is an important element in development and it affords the social, economic and political interaction that most people take for granted (Button and Hensher, 2001). The provision of transport infrastructure has grown extensively across the globe through a range of networks of modes which have undergone technological improvements cutting across the motive power, the tracks and the means that serve as compartment for passengers and goods. Personal mobility is one of democracy’s most valued freedoms and it is, therefore, not surprising that a high proportion of man’s income is devoted to the movement of the goods and transactions (Dawson, 2009). The importance to the socio economic, political and cultural development of any nation is underscored by Munby’s (2008) statement that “there is no escape from transport”.

In the past decade, there has seen significant growth in the use of motorcycle and ownership in Nigeria which has significant impacts on the socio-economic facets on the people’s lives (Oni, 2003). Recently, the introduction of the tricycle mode of transportation has not only improved the socio-economic life of the people but has also created employment for the timing unemployed youths especially in the present situation where unemployment has been the other of the day (Jack, 2016).

          According to Dawson (2009), motorbikes are a means of transport used to move from one place to another. With the policy of liberalisation of public transport by the government of Nigeria in the early 1960s, commercial motorbikes were introduced in Nigerian cities and progressively into rural areas. The introduction and proliferation of these commercial motorbikes in the urban and rural Nigeria has come to influence the mode of life of its population which generally had the habit to move from one village to another by trekking and today uses motorbikes to move from one village to another (Gbujie, 2003). More so, this population that lives on agriculture in the cultivation of cash and food crops in the likes of cocoa, coffee, cocoyam, cassava and plantains; with the production of these products constituting references of wealth and prestige has also drifted in the riding and ownership of commercial motorbikes becoming a ready source of income and a new sign of wealth and prestige amongst the people of Abraka (Akinbode and Ugbomeh, 2006). More so, the activity has introduced new jobs as motorbike spare part retailers and Motorbike mechanics. These changes in perception and activity have come to change the socio-cultural organization of the Abraka society (Akinbode and Ugbomeh, 2006).         

In many developing countries, motorcycles and tricycles are increasingly becoming the common means of transport especially among low-income urban dwellers (urban poor) and many rural people (Jean-Paul and Theo Notteboom, 2013). The high ownership and use of motorcycle and tricycle in the urban areas in Nigeria especially in Abraka has come with its accompanying challenges like motorcycle and tricycles accidents involving fatalities; environmental and public health concerns from the emissions; non-compliance to motor traffic regulations-for instance helmet use is generally low in Nigeria among others among other things. The high incidence of motorcycle ownership and use has also been contributing significantly in the betterment of many livelihoods of urban residents in Nigeria and at the instance of Abraka (Akinbode and Ugbomeh, 2006).

The increasing growth in the number of motorcycles has come to solve the mobility needs of many urban residents in the light of poor and inadequate public transport system, poor road conditions particularly those leading into the peri-urban areas where many people in Abraka reside as a result of urban sprawl. It also comes along with a host of opportunities including employment to motorcycle/tricycles mechanics and motorcycle/tricycles spare parts dealers, local revenue generating sources through taxes/levies on motorcycle owners/riders as well as motorcycle and tricycles registration and licensing (Dinye, 2013).

In developing countries, vehicle ownership is low dependency on public transport is high. However the financial conditions and performance of all forms of government-organized public transport ineffective and are in decline (Kumar, 2011). This situation has forced people and the market to develop creative solutions to address daily travel needs-hence a resort to motorcycles and tricycles either for personal mobility in addition public transport. The resort to motorcycles and tricycles as an alternative mode of transport in savaging urban mobility problems of towns in Nigeria has introduced varying dimensions of issues including traffic accidents and safety on the roads, registration issues and the repair and maintenance activities around these motorcycles (Jack, 2016). Various researches (such as Gbujie, 2003; Oni, 2002, 2003; Akinbode and Ugbomeh, 2006; Atubi, 2006; Dinye, 2013) have been conducted on the issues of motorcycle and tricycles traffic accidents, motorcycle/tricycles traffic management in motorcycle and tricycles dependent cities, commercial motorcycle/tricycle operations among others. It is against this background that this study is conducted to assesses the comparative effects of motorcycles (Okada) and tricycle (Keke) on socio-economic activities in Abraka.

1.2     Statement of Research Problem

          The problems created by the use of motorcycle and tricycle as the major mode of transport in Nigeria are enormous. Most motorcyclists who ply the road on daily basis do not apply safety rules and regulations. They overtake carelessly without looking carefully if there are vehicles coming from behind (Dinye, 2013). The use of motorcycle and tricycle have resulted to series of road accidents on urban and rural roads, traffic congestion, arm robbery cases, kidnap cases, abduction and other notorious crimes committed by okada and keke riders. This has in turn affected the socio-economic life of the inhabitants in most Nigerian cities, towns, and villages.  

          Another major problem associated with the use of motorcycle and tricycle is that socio-economic activities in Abraka greatly depend on the availability of transport services such as public and commercial vehicles, motorcycle, tricycle and other mode of transport. An increase in the price of transport will in turn lead to inflation in the price of commodities and goods (Charles, 2011). This has been the situation in Abraka for some time now since most dwellers complain of the hike in the price of transportation by transport companies, motorcyclists, tricyclists, and commercial vehicle owners.

          Motorcycles and tricycles often create traffic problems on urban roads leading to congestion of vehicles, motorcycles, and tricycles at terminal points. This creates a major problem to the inhabitants of such region who rely on the availability of transport services for their socio-economic activities. Socio-economic activities greatly depend on transport system since transportation is a key factor in the development of any society (Gauthier and Hook, 2005). However, over reliance on motorcycle and tricycle mode of transportation has created urban problems in most Nigerian cities. It has been discovered that there is dealt in literature on the effect of motorcycle and tricycle on socio-economic activities and not much effort has been directed towards the topic. This study will therefore fill the gap that exist in the study and address the problems mentioned in the above paragraphs.

1.3     Aim and Objectives

          The aim of this study is to comparatively assess the effect of motorcycle and tricycle (keke) on socio-economic activities in Abraka. Therefore, the specific objectives are to;

i.                   examine the socio-economic effect of motorcycle and tricycle mode of transportation in Abraka;

ii.                 identify the socio-economic activities in Abraka;

iii.              examine the problems associated with the use of motorcycle and tricycle mode of transport in Abraka;

iv.              examine the impact of motorcycle and tricycle mode of transportation on the socio-economic development of Abraka region;

v.                 suggest possible solution(s) to the problems associated with the use of motorcycle and tricycle mode of transport in Abraka.

1.4     Research Hypotheses

          The following hypotheses stated in the null form will be tested in this study;

i.       There is no significant relationship between motorcycle use and socio-economic activities at the 0.05 level of confidence.

ii.     There is no significant relationship between keke napep use and socio-economic activities at the 0.05 level of confidence.

iii.  There is no significant difference between the socio-economic effect of motorcycle and tricycle at the 0.05 level of confidence.

1.5     Significance of the Study

          This study is of paramount concern to motorcyclists and tricyclists in the study area as it will help to enlighten them on the need to apply safety rules when plying the major roads. The study will also educate the general public on the role of transportation on the socio-economic development of Abraka region as well as widening the scope of transport companies in educating their drivers on the possible ways to address road accident issues especially those caused by motorcyclists and tricyclists riders.

          This study will be of importance to urban planners, transporters, geographers, students, academicians, professionals as well as the government on the need to incorporate transportation programs into the society to broaden the knowledge of individuals the proper use of motorcycles and tricycles when plying on urban and rural roads.

          This study will guide future researchers on the awareness of the socio-economic effect of motorcycle and tricycle mode of transportation in the study area and other regions. It will also create awareness of the socio-economic activities in the study areas as well as the contributing factors which hinder transport development in the study area. Finally, this study will add to existing literature and knowledge on the topic under discuss and create an avenue for future researchers who wish to delve into this study, to be acquainted of the possible effects of motorcycle and tricycle on socio-economic activities.

 1.6    Scope of the Study

          This study will cover the whole of Abraka region. This study will be restricted to the effects of motorcycle and tricycle on socio-economic activities in Abraka, with emphasis to examine the problems associated with the use of motorcycle and tricycle mode of transport in Abraka. The study will also look at the socio-economic activities in the study area as well as the socio-economic effect of motorcycle and tricycle mode of transportation in Abraka.

          This study is also restricted to examine the impact of motorcycle and tricycle mode of transportation on the socio-economic development of Abraka region. Finally, this study will suggest possible solution(s) to the problems associated with the use of motorcycle and tricycle mode of transport in Abraka.


The study area (Abraka) is located in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State. It is situated in the Niger Delta Region of the South-South Geo-Political zone of Southern Nigeria.

1.7.1  Location and Boundary

 Abraka is geographically located at latitude 050 481 to 050 551 North of the equator and longitude 060 061 to 060 301 East of the Greenwich meridian. It is situated at the Eastern Bank of River Ethiope and falls between the Delta Central Senatorial Districts in Delta State.

Abraka shares boundary with Orhiowon Local Government Area of Edo State in the North, Ukwani Local Government Area of Delta State in the East, Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State in the South and lastly, the Ika Local Government Area of Delta State in the West. The region of Abraka has a total land area of 21.2 square kilometer.

Description: F:Documentsdelta map.jpg

Description: F:Documentsabraka map.jpg



1.7.2  Relief and Drainage System of Abraka Region

Abraka and its environs are drainage by two rivers, River Ethiope and River Ovwuvwe. Most communities in Abraka are located in the upland in between these rivers the drainage pattern of River Ethiope is dentritic in nature. These rivers serves as recreational and tourist centers, major sources of water to the populace, mining sites for sand stones, religious activities and agricultural activities just to mention but a few.

Abraka and its environs lies within the low land area of Nigeria, with 50m above sea level. Also, it is only about 45km from the coast of Nigeria. Abraka has a low relief of gentle hilly flat surface with an anticline nature i.e having an elevation of less than or equal to 60 which in the north shell can also be linked ion classification with the interior coastal landmass of western Nigeria.

1.7.3  Geology and Soils of Abraka Region

Abraka is predominantly underlying sedimentary rock. Abraka lies in Southern most sedimentary basis in Nigeria. Abraka soil is acidic in nature. Abraka soil varies from coarse through medium to fine grained soils. The soils of Abraka can be said to be sandy loam. The colour of the soil is greenish brown to reddish brown and then to brown. The light grayish colouration characterizes the entire sandy portion of the soil, while the reddish brown colouration depicts the presence of ion oxide in the soil. This colouration depicts the availability of mineral matters and moisture. Abraka soil is poorly structured in relation to its type in terms of grain size, pore spaces which greatly influences the rate of percolation and capillarity, aeration and the rate of evaporation.


1.7.4  Climate of Abraka Region

Abraka falls within the tropical environment that enjoys the tropical rainforest climate (AF) of Koppen in 1918 and the wet equatorial climate of Strahler in 1969. The climate is influenced by two masses; the tropical maritime air mass and tropical continental air mass. Abraka is a region of the humid tropical climate with high temperature between the months of November and April with variation in temperature between 250C-290C between April and October. The region of Abraka has an annual temperature of about 30.60C with a monthly mean temperature of 300C from September and 31.10C in June and July with an annual range in temperature between 30C and 50C. It is discovered in repeated studies that the average climatic rainfall in Abraka is about 2500mm annually. Abraka is placed into two seasons, the dry and wet (rainy) season. However, Abraka experiences rainfall throughout the year owing to its location in the Niger Delta zone with the continual monsoon wind blowing from the Atlantic ocean and also a continuous shift in the Inter-Tropical Discontinuity (ITD) due to the movement of air masses.

1.7.5 Vegetation of Abraka Region

Abraka is located on the equatorial rainforest which is evergreen forest and consists of three canopies of trees which are, the upper layer of which is about 60m tall, middle layer which is about 40m tall and the lower layer which is about 30m in height. The three major vegetation types in Abraka includes; the tropical rainforest belt, temperate grasslands and the grassland vegetation which remains one of the key important factor which affect the climate of Abraka region. Vegetation provides lumbering, medicinal purpose, food, income and employment to the people of Abraka region.

1.7.6  Population in Abraka Region

There have been increases in the total population of Abraka since its declaration as an urban center in 2005. The population of Abraka after the 2006 census has been estimated to be approximately 50,000. Abraka is a developing urban centre with a population tilting to about one million as at today, i.e growing urban centre and migration has been the major factors for these growths. Other factors responsible for these growths include tourism, the institution, commercial and industrial activities and employments. The population of Abraka is unevenly distributed. The population varies from densely populated (as may be seen in urban centres) to moderately populated and sparsely populated (as may be seen in rural areas and villages in Abraka).

The population structures of Abraka or the organizational pattern of population varies from the ‘Age Structure’ down to ‘Sex and Occupational Structures’ and lastly the household size. In Abraka, population structure is tilted towards the working class (15-64) i.e. the youthful class with its sex structure rating a greater percentage of male then female in the distribution. Occupationally, the population of Abraka structured mainly towards civil servants, farmers and artesians. The population structure of Abraka region is greatly determined by some motivating factors which include migration, mortality rate ad fertility rate.

Environmental degradation such as air pollution from fumes of automobile engines and water pollution, also erratic power supply due to congestion and other socio problems which includes increase in crimes rate, prostitution etc, are all limitation to the population structure of Abraka.

1.7.7  Settlement Pattern of Abraka Region

          Abraka is characterized with primary and secondary settlement. Primary settlement includes residential buildings, hospitals and health care centres and schools while secondary settlements are hostels, filling stations, factories etc. On the Ajalomi route, the settlement is rural and development is still in its infancy. From Abraka P.O to Ekrejeta, there appears to be a nucleated settlement, the buildings were closely clustered along the road and inside streets whereas other settlements were mainly linear and dispersed. The buildings found in this area are of urban scale i.e. storey buildings, bungalows, and chains of stores along the road in which the store owners and landlords put these buildings into rent and generate income through the rent payments from tenants. The chain of stores are dominated by workshops especially mechanic workshops and spare parts store including building materials stores, phone repair and accessories stores and Bar and Restaurants etc; there is also administrative buildings in Abraka P.O. and Oria such as the Abraka Customary Court and the Ministry of Lands, Surveys and Urban Development (MLSUD) in Oria.

From the above, it can be deduced that the pattern of settlement can help in dividing Abraka into urban and rural areas. There is no doubt today that settlement pattern and characteristics has played a major role in the socio-economic development of Abraka region and have over the years boast the socio-economic activities of the region.


1.7.8  Socio-Economic Activities

The process of urbanization is fairly contributed by population growth, immigration, and infrastructure initiatives like good road, water, power and gardens, resulting in the growth of villages into towns, towns into cities, cities into metros.

Infrastructural development: The government of Ethiope East has in recent time embarked on rehabilitation of existing, socio-economic, infrastructure such as roads, portable water, rural electrification, educational facilities, health facilities, stadium and other socio amenities. The government have areas such as revolutionalised changes and improvement in areas such as education, health, agriculture, cooperative movement, commerce and market development, industrialization, youth and sports development, etc. The people of Abraka place prenium on education. Town unions, private individuals and associations, being part of voluntary agencies, have played active roles in the development of educational infrastructure, tourism and recreational faculties in the region. The provision of health facilities ranks second to education in priority.

Development is usually faced with a myriad of problems ranging area of Abraka region. It is believed that in the nearest future, the government and private individuals would recognize the primacy and potentials of youth organizations and socio-economic empowerment of rural communities. It is true that the urban centres depend on the rural centres for raw materials and available resources and in turn the urban centres provide the rural centres with socio and basic amenities.

Transportation: It can be established by Okoko (2011) that untarred/seasonal roads and foot track dominates in the study area. Lack of good roads in the study has great negative impacts on the socio-economic activities of the rural communities. Studies has shown that improvement in transportation by given priority in road development will no doubt enhance the socio-economic activities of the study area thereby improving the well-being of the people in the area (Dakyes and Ogbuli, 2012).

The provision of employment has significantly been affected by the motorcycle and tricycle business or public transport system (buses) and has increased the standard of living of motorcyclist and also a corresponding increase in the population of Abraka region. Conclusively, it deduced systematically that the motorcycle mode of transportation has aided not only in the facilitation of movement of people and information but also in provision of employment, income and increases the standard of living of both motorcyclist and commercial transports.

Commerce: The Abraka region entails sales of varieties of food crops which are produced locally such as yam, plantain, banana etc alongside none food products. The physical structure of the Abraka market (centre of commerce) and other neighbouring stores being poorly planned has really affected the rate of commerce with regard to drainage, indiscriminate waste disposal at market site which has a resultant effect on the health standard of food crops for consumption in sold the market.

Tourism: The Abraka tourism region is another economic activity carried out in the region. It is located in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria, along the river Ethiope of Abraka. The Abraka River Resort Motel which is the largest, best developed tourist centre with accommodation facilities of high standard is characterized by a well stretched beach space, water oriented leisure activities etc. Others includes the turf club at Oria, an international standard pool centre along the River Ethiope, the Gordon Motel which has over a hundred (100) chalets offering quite a natural rainforest environment of clean-clear water with alternating swift and slow river regime, the bamboo game village, Mega bar and restaurant at Ajalomi etc.

Agriculture: The people of Abraka practice both subsistence and commercial agriculture in which food and cash crops are produced. They engage in mixed cropping and crop rotation farming method as their major type of agricultural practices. Over the years, agriculture has provided food, employment, sources of income etc. to the inhabitants of Abraka region.

1.8     Limitation of the Study

          This research work was limited by a number of factors, amongst which are finance, time, language barrier, communication gap, and physical constraints. But these constraints did not deprive the researcher from reaching dependable results.

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