The Millennium Development Goals and Rail Transport Development in Nigeria: A Critical Review

Azalahu Francis Akwara, Joseph Effiong Udaw, Ezirim E. Gerald


The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) is an embodiment of development issues adopted by member nations of the United Nations Organization to accelerate the rate of development in their countries. As adopted in Nigeria, it aims at the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger; achievement of universal primary education or eradication of illiteracy; promotion of gender equality and empower women; reduction of child mortality; maternal health improvement; combating of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability; and the development of global partnership for development. These objectives are incorporated into the development agenda of the various member states. The achievement of these goals will among other things depend on the availability of necessary and sufficient infrastructural development in the countries, especially a developed transport system. This study examines the role transportation would play towards the realization of these MDGs in Nigeria. And each of these goals are examined in connection with their transportation factor requirements; and the consequences the lack (or inadequacy) of this factor can bear on fulfilling the Goals. The paper finds that the transport requirements for the achievement of these goals in Nigeria are lacking, especially in the rail transport sector. While appreciable progress is being made to develop the other transport sectors viz: air, road and water transport, the rail transport sector suffers neglect. The paper finds that the law establishing the railway makes the rail system an exclusive reserve of the Federal Government in Nigeria, and that this has prevented private participation in the sector and has led to the underdeveloped nature of rail transport system in the country and this inhibits the achievement of the millennium development goals in the country. The paper recommends the review of the act to allow for private participation in the sector to reposition the sector to provide the necessary transport services necessary for the realization of the millennium development goals in Nigeria.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n6p433

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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