OPERATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS AND SUPPLY OF INLAND WATERWAY TRANSPORTATION SERVICE IN THE COASTAL AREA OF ANAMBRA STATE, NIGERIA
Keywords:Transportation, Inland waterways, Operational characteristics, Boat operators
The inland water transportation (IWT) system in Nigeria is one of the most signiﬁcant modes of transportation for being easily accessible and inexpensive in terms of cost of operations and maintenance. IWT has been playing a significant role in the development of trade, commercial activities, and growth of societies since ancient time. An understanding of its operational characteristics and supply will aid its appreciation and potentials to fixing the intermodal connectivity of the Nation’s transportation system and network, particularly in Anambra State. To this end, the study assessed the operations and supply of IWT by registered operators in Anambra State along existing routes. The assessment was done by on-the-spot surveys and administration of questionnaire for a two-week period. The data generated were analysed using descriptive statistics for the assessment of operational characteristics and multiple regression for the determination of the factors influencing the supply of IWT in Anambra. The study revealed that private ownership dominated supply and most of the vessels used were mid-sized wooden boats. Lucrative routes were those plied on market days. It was also discovered that demand was the single most significant factor that determines supply of IWT services. The study recommends that to make IWT more attractive, the operators must improve on the services offered and for the supply pattern to improve, the existing routes must generate more traffic outside market days. It was also recommended that boat operators should explore other uses of their boats outside market days.