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State of Infrastructure Reports: Roads (2013/2014)

Roads and highways have become critical in the modern economy in not just facilitating movement, but often determining both the location and pattern of human settlement, the citing of social and economic production bases-from schools and hospitals to industrial parks. As such, they are an integral part of the underlying contour shaping the architecture of cities and the evolution of the modern, urban space. They are critical, indirect inputs to the production function in terms of geography of production. Roads are direct inputs in the production of agglomeration benefits, economy of scale and increasing returns.

It is an accepted truth that roads, like almost every other infrastructure asset in Nigeria, have suffered much neglect in the past four decades for lack of funds, corruption, inefficiency, poor planning, inappropriate technology choices and poor maintenance culture. Years of neglect, compounded by rapid urbanization and burgeoning population, economic expansion, income growth leading to increased vehicle ownership and traffic, act together to shorten the lifespan of existing roads, create suffocating congestion problems in the inner cities, increase commuting time, triple the cost of living by increasing transportation and vehicular maintenance costs and ultimately rendering the economy very uncompetitive.