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ABSTRACT

In Nigeria, motorcycles have grown in popularity as a mode of transportation and a source of income for many riders. However, a number of circumstances subject riders to both internal and external shocks and strains, and these factors undoubtedly have an impact on the socioeconomic features of the riders (SEC). The study looked at various socioeconomic (income, personal savings, age, and belief system) traits of commercial motorcycle riders in the town of Ilaro, Ogun State, also known as Okada riders.

The issue was investigated using a cross-sectional community-based analytical survey design, with the use of social capital theory. This study’s conceptualization used a social protection approach. A 98% response rate was attained after 322 MRs were chosen using simple random sampling, of which 315 took part in the study. In order to gather more information, key informants such as six traffic police officers, nine Ilaro Town Okada riders’ officials, and ten local leaders were purposefully selected and interrogated. Questionnaires, interview guides, focus group discussion guides, and an observation checklist were some of the research tools employed. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses were done on the data from this investigation. Quantitative data were evaluated using descriptive and inferential statistics, while qualitative data were also used to supplement quantitative data and were thematically explored.

Tables and bar graphs were used to display the results. The Chi-square test statistically verified a significant association between the ownership status of the motorbike and the SEC of MRs (p=0.036) as well as a significant relationship between the locations where motorcycles are operated (rural and urban). Chi-square tests also showed that there is no relationship between MRs’ genders and their SEC (p=0.622), whether or not MRs have a riding license and their SEC (p=0.783), how socially connected MRs are to their communities and their SEC (p=0.226), and whether or not MRs are involved in groups and their SEC (p=0.176).

The study came to the conclusion that there is a high degree of SEC (63% with a probability error of 5%) among motorcycle riders in Ilaro town. There were also explanations of how the study’s conclusions will affect medical researchers, policymakers, and academics. The following recommendations were made for additional research, policy, and practice, respectively: Creating policies that encourage the construction of medical facilities within the means of MRs and their families, encouraging the use of self-owned motorcycles if MRs’ disposable income were to rise, potentially leading to a higher SEC, and conducting a comparison of the socioeconomic well-being of MRs operating in rural and urban areas.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  • Background to the Study

Any community’s development, anywhere in the world, depends on transportation. It facilitates the mobility of people, permits the optimal use of practical items and priceless commodities, and grants access to previously inaccessible locations. In Nigeria, the majority of city-based (urban) transportation has been by road. In fact, 70% of car trips are taken by individuals or organizations outside of the realm of officially sanctioned public transportation (Oyesiku, 2002). The demise of Nigeria’s public intra-city transportation system paved the way for the rise of the motorcycle as a mode of public transportation. In most Nigerian towns and urban areas, motorcycles—often referred to as Okada—are used as a form of public transportation. They have eliminated the use of automobiles for public intra-city transportation in numerous towns and cities. In actuality, a lot of young people without jobs and retirees have found profitable employment in the Okada industry. In order to supplement or raise their regular salaries with any money they can make from the Okada company, several people who are employed full-time by the taxpayer-funded organization nonetheless work there as owners or riders (Olubomehin, 2012).

Poverty is not immune to the various conceptual definitions, complexities, and ambiguities that exist for other concepts. According to Chaudhry, Malik, and Hassan (2009), a web of interconnected economic, social, political, and demographic factors form the basis of the complex phenomena of poverty. In order to sustain a minimal quality of living, food, clothes, and shelter are considered to be the three most important needs that a population or a segment of the population can only meet.

For a higher number of people/of the group, Nigeria is one of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa where it is very difficult to achieve basic human needs (Afonja,2019).

 

The level of living of a person is determined by socioeconomic elements such as money, savings, education, contribution to human development, social development, health, and others (Agbaje & Bolaji, 2013). Enterprise Dictionary (2016) Age, sex, education, income, marital status, occupation, religion, birth and death rates, average family size, and average age at marriage are socioeconomic characteristics of a population that are statistically expressed. A census is a compilation of all of the demographic data pertaining to a population’s constituents.

 

Kabiru and Monday (2014) pointed out that the transport industry in Nigeria as a whole significantly contributes to economic growth and development. According to the Nigerian Ministry of Transport (2009), motorbikes enhance passenger and cargo transportation services to help a deficient transportation system. Nigeria has seen an increase in motorcycle ownership and use since the government, through the Ministry of Finance, zero-rated motorcycles under 250cc in 2008. (Nyachieo, 2015). This, together with the two primary issues that plague many developing countries—poverty and unemployment—is forcing many young people in Nigeria to ride motorcycles as a means of subsistence (International Labour Organization, 2007). This is reinforced in the Ogun State Draft Strategic Plan (2013), which shows that motorcycles have grown in popularity among young people in the State as both a mode of transportation and an IGA.

 

Cervero (2000) notes that informal modes of transportation are among the least understood, in part because there hasn’t been any deliberate study of them. As a result, many theories continue to circulate regarding how motorcycle transportation is influencing communities and the lives of individual motorcycle riders in terms of social, economic, political, and even cultural factors. This led to the identification of the knowledge gap regarding the socioeconomic wellbeing outcomes of motorcycle riders.

Social scientists have extensively investigated the concept of socio-economic characteristics, which are typically understood to reflect an individual’s perceptions of their level of contentment with the social and economic standards they enjoy (Somaratne, Dayaratne & Wickramasuriya, 2011). However, Fitoussi, Sen, and Stiglitz (2009) identified wellbeing as having multiple dimensions, including material standard of living, health, education, social connections, natural environment, and a sense of financial and physical security. Social, economic, and human capital resources have a significant impact on socio-economic features, which is why variables such as level of education, income, resource access, political influence, and health of an individual are used to quantify socio-economic characteristics (Li, Mattes, Stanley, McMurray & Hertzman, 2009). Although a high SEC is desirable, Li et alstudy .’s (2009) found that there are other factors that can limit people’s well-being, particularly in groups that are weak and unprepared to handle shocks. According to this study, motorcycle riders are subject to financial, health, safety, and security shocks due to the nature of their profession, which unavoidably affects their socioeconomic features.

 

Socioeconomic traits were operationalized in this study as perceived levels of satisfaction with social service access, social standing in society, income, savings, health, safety, and security. Notably, very little study had been done on the association between the sociodemographic and socioeconomic features of motorcycle riders. According to the Ogun State Motorcycle Industrial Cluster Implementation Strategy 2014/2015, there are over 20,000 motorcycle owners in Ogun State. 77% of the people in this group are under 25. According to Dodge, Daly, Huyton, and Sanders (2012), citing Shah and Marks (2004), wellness entails growing as a person, finding fulfillment, and giving back to the community.

 

1.2        Problem Statement

According to the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (2008–09), 76% of the population of Ogun State is under 30 years old. Additionally, it shows that primary education is the greatest level of education reached by an estimated 65% of the people in Ogun State, which lowers their prospects of finding formal, professional work. Therefore, the necessity for money drives many young people to start motorcycle businesses, either as employees riding rental motorcycles or as owners operating self-owned motorcycles (Cervero, 2000).

Despite the fact that motorcycle riders provide dependable and accessible transportation, research to date has largely concentrated on the social “vices” that the riders are purportedly committing. These “vices” include involvement in run-away criminal activities like kidnapping, robberies, and murder (Manyara, 2013; Mbugua, 2011), involvement in supporting such crimes (Achula, 2015), and claims that motorcycle riders are increasing the prevalence of teen pregnancies and school drop-out rates among girls in rural areas (National Council for Population and Development, 2014; National Adolescents and Youth Survey, 2015; Bwayo, 2016).

 

A large body of material has accumulated to look into the effects of Okada riding on eradicating poverty and creating jobs as a result of the recent quick ban on Okada commercial motorcycle industry in various states in Nigeria. However, the socioeconomic factors causing the increase in customers for Okada businesses haven’t gotten much attention. This study examines the socioeconomic traits of commercial motorcycle riders in Ilaro Town, Ogun State, also referred to as Okada.

 

1.3        Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to investigate the variables that contribute to the socio-economic characteristics of Okoda riders in Ilaro town, Nigeria.

 

1.4        Objectives of the Study

The study was guided by the following objectives:

  1. To establish the relationship between selected demographic characteristics of motorcycle riders and the riders’ socio-economic characteristics
  2. To assess the relationship between social connectedness among motorcycle riders and their communities and the riders’ socio-economic characteristics
  3. To determine the relationship between involvement of motorcycle riders in groups and their socio-economic characteristics
  4. To analyze the relationship between riders’ ownership status of motorcycle and their socio-economic characteristics
  5. To establish the levels of socio-economic characteristics of motorcycle riders in Ilaro town.

 

1.5        Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were tested in this study:

H01 There is no significant relationship between selected demographic characteristics of motorcycle riders in Ilaro town and their socio-economic characteristics

H02 There is no significant relationship between social connectedness among motorcycle riders and their communities in Ogun State and the riders’ socio-economic characteristics

H04 There is no significant relationship between ownership status of motorcycle and the riders’ socio-economic characteristics.

 

1.6        Significance of the Study

This study identified variables that affect the socioeconomic status of motorcycle riders and suggested workable, evidence-based treatments to improve their quality of life. This is consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 3.4 on encouraging wellbeing, 3.6 on reducing the number of worldwide fatalities and injuries from traffic accidents, 3.8 on access to affordable, high-quality essential health services, and SDG 3.4. 8.3 promotes policies that are focused on development and that encourage entrepreneurship and the expansion of micro, small, and medium-sized businesses. Motorcycle riders will benefit from the study’s findings because they will learn what options to pursue in order to improve their socioeconomic status. The study’s findings will fill a knowledge gap on motorcycle riders’ socioeconomic well-being among the academic community. The information can help program designers and policy makers plan potential targeted initiatives aimed at boosting the socioeconomic characteristics of riders and the informal transportation sector. Additionally, study results may be used for additional research by social and academic academics to broaden our understanding of the motorcycle industry.

 

1.7        Delimitations of the Study

The focus of this study was on motorcycle operators in Ogun State who were 18 years of age or older. This was due to The Children Act, Cap. 141, Revised Edition 2012 [2010] of the laws of Nigeria, which stated that persons under the age of 18 were deemed minors and should not engage in labor for money.

 

1.8        Limitations of the Study

The study was limited by some motorcycle riders who chose to transport clients who showed up at the pick-up stages instead of participating in the study during the survey. Some did not return to complete the questionnaires, while others did.

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