Appraisal of auto-rickshaw as poverty alleviation strategy in Nigeria: An example of Lagos metropolis
The study examines the use of auto-rickshaw (three - wheeled cycle) as poverty alleviation scheme in metropolitan areas of Lagos state Nigeria, with the aim of exploring the significance of the scheme in solving beneficiaries’ financial challenges. Data were obtained from secondary and primary sources. 200 structured questionnaires were randomly administered to the tricycle operators in 24 stratified loading points in the metropolitan area and information collected were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistical techniques. Findings showed that 73.5% operators benefited and 26% did not benefit from the scheme. The study also revealed that male operators (97.3%) dominated the scheme. Average daily income of the operators is more than N2000 (13USD) while daily operating costs was N1610 (11USD). There is a significant difference in financial difficulty of the operators (tc = 1.695, p ≤ 0.05) in post-procurement of the scheme. Despite a positive change in financial situations of operators at post-procurement of NAPEP tricycles (X2c = 38.50, p ≤ 0.05) and 81% operators’ rating of NAPEP tricycles in poverty alleviation, some of the challenges facing the operators include high cost of the tricycle coupled with the unfriendly payback period, extortion from police and local council officials, problem of routes choice and competition with other road users. Based on the helpfulness of the scheme, it is recommended that beneficiaries of the scheme be given loan directly at moderate payback period, provision of parking facilities; educate operators about road safety than extortion by police and local government officials. While the study revealed the benefits and challenges of NAPEP policy regarding tricycles in alleviating monetary challenges of applicants in the state, there is need to address observed challenges in the scheme and as well prevent reoccurrence in the fourth face of the scheme.
Key Words: Poverty Alleviation, Auto-rickshaw, Lagos Metropolis, Nigeria