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Socio-economic Impacts of Pot-holes on Nigerian Roads

Info: 7593 words (30 pages) Dissertation
Published: 29th Oct 2021

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Tagged: TransportationSustainability



The Problem of Pot-holes on the Nigerian roads has become an embarrassing national stigma.  This deplorable conditions of the Nigerian roads is such that require a national emergency to ameliorate the situation.  Indeed, normal interactions in several parts of the country has been frustrated by pot-holes that hampered vehicular movements.

Most vehicles are not optionally utilized as these several and multiple pot-holes and detours imply that these vehicles break down severally, which at the end prolong and frustrate commuters, leaving them stranded with numerous severe consequences on the road.  Again, the several security agencies contribute to the agony of Nigerians that ply these roads.

There are several security check-points that even blocked the good parts of the roads with all manners of barriers that compelled the drivers to make use of the bad sport of the roads.  This is done deliberately to force motorists to stop for security extortions. The worst hit are the commercial vehicles and trucks that carry goods.

Potholes and the activities of the security agencies have severe negative socio-economic impacts on our drive for sustainable economic development as a nation.  It is therefore expected that the government will tackle the problem with all the seriousness it deserves.  However, the recent statement by the Minister for Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola that the government will only attend to roads that are viable smacked of political insensitivity to a national problem and disaster.

This statement from the Minister portray the Government as not being aware of the vital role of good road transportation system to the economic development and revitalization of the country. 

In this paper therefore, effort will be made to reconstruct the vital roles of road transportation to the economic transformation of Nigeria. It will establish the relationship between a sound Philosophy of Education to maintenance culture, economic development and sustainability.

The paper also posits that Essencism as a Philosophy of Education will help provide the epistemic-ethical orientation for Nigerian leaders to know the role they have to play in the country’s development.

It is further argued that Essencism will through the educative processes empowered all Nigerians to discover their essence and function. This philosophy will help establish a new consciousness and nationalistic spirit that will be anchored on national values and humanistic thinking rather than the present ethnic and individual interests that promote corruption, which has in several ways affected our social infrastructures.



Nigeria is said to have above Thirty five thousand (35,000) kilometres of Federal roads and about 1.414 trillion Naira has been expended on their maintenance since 1999. Despite this colossal sum spent on the roads, these still remain death traps and exposed motorists and commuters that ply these roads to some bizarre things and damages.

Many Nigerians transiting from one part of the country to the other are usually stranded, spending nights on the roads for a journey of less than eight hours, while some even lose their lives due to fatal accidents as a result of potholes.  There is also the bad experience of arm robberies due to the deplorable states of the roads.  The agonies of the motorists and commuters are worsen by the activities of the various security and uniformed agencies that are on the roads for their own “stomach infrastructural development”, instead of aiding the motorists and commuters.

These security and uniformed agencies always block the small portion of the roads that are motorable.  This forced motorists to enter the numerous potholes that will often damage their vehicles, while these agencies extort money from the motorists and commuters.

Road transport is the commonest means of transportation in Nigeria due to the total collapse of the rail system and the nearly non-existence and exploitation of the inland waterways.  Road transport is also the only means of transportation available to the masses of the country as the political elites can easily afford the high-cost of air transport that seems exclusive to the elites and political class.  So, road transport accounts for over 90 percent of the sub-sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Road traffic entirely depends on the human settlements, and in Nigeria where the settlement is agrarian, roads transportation for both humans and goods, especially agricultural produces or products of various kinds.  This all important infrastructure is in comatose in Nigeria due largely to lack of maintenance culture, corruption in the system, and the inadvertent huge resort to trucks and articulated vehicles for haulage.

The dilapidation of the road due to potholes is a true reflection of the Nigerian state.  This is due to the fact that road plays developmental role in every economy, which in a way makes it a derived demand as the sector in itself is not productive but is responsive to forces of generation.  Effective and efficient road transport system can provide huge economic benefits that usually result in multiplier effects like better accessibility to markets, employment and additional investments.  Accordingly, citizens that are deprived of transportation infrastructure miss out on several economic opportunities and this could lead to recession as Nigerian is presently experiencing.

In this paper, effort will be made to show the impacts/implications of road transportation on the economy. Factors that contribute to the potholes situation on the Nigeria roads will be discussed. We will look at the major characteristics of road, benefits of good road system, and how the Nigerian situation can be reversed and made to be a source of economic development and sustainability.

Our approach in this paper will be strictly analytic, which is a 21st century basic philosophical tool/method.  So, the paper seeks to analyse the economic and social effects of potholes on the Nigerian roads.  It posits that Essencism as a Philosophy of Education will be the basic means through which infrastructural decay in the country can be stopped and Nigeria transformed to become a developed economy.


Roadways according to Enwerem and Ali are basically “the means of transportation on land”.  This include the “modern highway system”, “streets feeder roads and village roads”, which take care of various vehicles and human movements from one point to the other (761).  Road transportation is the commonest and still cheapest in Nigeria despite the recent increase in the pump price of petrol by the All Progress Congress (APC) led Federal Government to one hundred and forty five Naira (N145) per litre.  This means of transportation according to Gupta and Gupta provides maximum flexibility in terms of route, direction, time, and speed.  Humans and goods have to be transported first by road before getting to the railway station or airport for further movement.  It is therefore on the basis of this that Singh holds that the road remains the nearest to man among all the kinds of transport system we have.

There are various kinds of roads globally that are thorough fares that can be used by motorized traffic according to Enwerem and Ali.  Accordingly different terms are employed to connote this.  These include:

  • Driveway: This is a kind of private road designed specifically for local access to one or small group of structures, and this is often owned and sustained by the individual or group that owns it.  Driveways do not always have traffic lights except those that “bear heavy traffic” that lead to commercial business and parks.
  • Arterial Road: This is a kind of “a high-capacity urban road”.  The basic function of an arterial road is to convey from collector roads to freeways or expressways, and also between urban centres at the highest level of service possible”.
  • Highway: This is any public way on land.  It is often used as major roads that may have one or several lanes.
  • Expressway: This is a kind of controlled-access highway.  It is the highest grade kind of highway with access ramps, lane dividers etc. for high speed traffic.
  • Street:  This is a kind of public thoroughfare that is usually paved in a built environment.  This is a public parcel of land that adjourn buildings in an urban contexts on which people can without restriction assemble, interact and move about.  A Street can be as simple as a “level patch of dirt”, but this is often paved with hard, durable surface like concrete, cobblestone or brick.  Some portion of a street may be made or smoothed with asphalt (761-762).

Most roads in Nigeria are poorly constructed, and maintained hence, it cannot last at all. Roads are supposed to be constructed in such a way that it will last for between thirty to fifty years.  However, in Nigeria, this is not the case.  The surface of most Nigerian roads do not even last up to six months or a year.  It is due to several factorss that Nigerian roads usually get bad with potholes all over, which at the end lead to bumpy rides with severe socio-economic effects on the nation.

Road is said to be the closest means of transportation to the people. This is because before passengers and goods get to the railway station, seaport and airports, they are usually first transported by roads.  As a result, road have certain characteristics that make it unique from others, and this include:

  1. Adaptability: Various kinds of vehicles can move on the roads.  For instance, we have bicycles, motorcycles, cars, buses, trucks, caravan among others that can make use of the roads.
  2. Cost of construction: Road construction is far cheaper than railway tracks, docks, harbours, and airports.
  3. Flexibility: Road provides a kind of total freedom to road users to transfer their vehicles from one lane to the other or from one road to another base on convenience situation and need of the user.  Road generally provide that flexibility of changes in speed, direction and timing of travel, and this is not available or found in other means or modes of transportation (Gupta and Gupta).
  4. Accident Rate: Road have a high degree of accidents due largely to several factors that include flexibility and state of the roads.
  5. Accessibility:  Road appears to be the only mode of transportation that provide easy accessibility to all the citizens and communities (Singh; Enwerem and Ali: 762)


Good road have several socio-economic benefits to countries all over the world.  Roads are indeed one of the key national infrastructures and assets of any country.  This is because of the economic benefits derivable from good roads, as roads aid the movement of goods and persons from one place to the other.  So, the benefits of good roads include the following:

  1. As earlier stated, good roads aid in the efficient transportation or movement of goods and persons.  This is very vital for the economic growth and development of any country.  With good roads agricultural products can easily be moved from the rural areas to the urban cities.
  2. With good roads, considerable time can be saved in the movement of goods and persons.  With good roads, daily socio-economic activities can be carried out with ease.
  3. Good roads serve other modes of transportation such as railway, air, and sea.  Without good roads, goods and persons cannot easily get to the railway stations, airports and seaports.  It is good roads network that help these other modes of transportation to strive and function effectively.
  4. Good roads are very vital for the internal security and even the defence of a country in the event of war.  Men and materials can only be mobilized easily if there are good roads.
  5. Good roads promotes economic activities as trades and other commercial activities can easily be carried out in several places through good roads that serve as communication links.  Good roads can increase the market base of several commercial activities.  So, good roads enhance the growth of trade and other economic activities.
  6. With good roads, emergency activities or operations can efficiently be handled or tackled.  This is because the response time for any emergency situation can greatly be enhanced with good roads (Singh: 3).
  7. The living standard of rural communities can be greatly improved through good roads.  This is because various communities can easily be accessed through good roads, and this will act as a catalyst for development.
  8. Vehicles will be durable as the wear and tear of vehicles can drastically be reduced through good roads.
  9. Cost of transportation will be reduced.  Good roads will help in the reduction of cost of transportation since the cost of maintenance will drastically drop and time for various journeys will be reduced.


Nigeria as a country is not benefitting from the enormous benefits of good roads. The reason for lack of such benefits is because the Nigerian roads are bad and the common features on the Nigerian roads are potholes, breakdown vehicles, security check-points that blocked the good portions of the roads and ghastly accidents.  The pertinent questions here becomes:  Why are Nigerian roads filled with potholes?  What are the causes of bad roads in Nigeria?

In response to the second question, Enwerem and Ali (2016), listed eight causes of bad roads in Nigeria.  According to them these include operation of Heavy Duty trucks and vehicles, natural disaster, construction and methods, effects of weather conditions, wrong construction activities, unstable grounds and poor drainage, improper use of the roads, and poor workmanship and inadequate maintenance.

To the above list, we will want to add corruption and lack of national values and culture, which are products of bad educational system that is devoid of philosophical foundation.

Although Enwerem and Ali, did not explain the eight causes of bad roads in Nigeria, we will make effort to speculate on these through explanation.

  1. Operation of Heavy Duty Trucks and Vehicles: Enwerem and Ali (2016), did not include trucks and vehicles in their paper, but it is our thinking that their use of “operation of heavy duty” implies trucks and vehicles.  Indeed, the Nigerian roads cannot stand the test of time and durability because, the roads are used by heavy duty trucks and vehicles, which was not the original design and conception of most of Nigerian roads.  Most Nigerian roads are built and constructed for light vehicles but heavy duty trucks and vehicles with so much loads are allowed to use these roads.  With such breach of construction rules the roads will not last hence the potholes.
  2. Natural Disaster: This involves non-man-made factors that destroy the Nigerian roads.  These natural disasters include flood, too much rain and extreme hot weather.  All these climatic factors are potential dangers to Nigerian roads.  All these factors combined to destroy roads in the country and leave the roads with potholes
  3. Construction materials and methods:  Most of the construction materials and methods used in building and constructing roads in Nigeria are not suitable for the country as a tropical zone.  Laterite, stone-based, chippings and asphalt, which are the major construction materials are not suitable, and cannot withstand the weather conditions in the country.  Again, the methods used by the foreign construction companies are not anchored on research that have Nigeria as a focus.
  4. Effects of weather conditions:  The weather conditions in the country is not suitable for the construction materials and methods used in road construction in Nigeria.  The weather conditions, which have been made worst in the country due to climate change easily destroy roads in Nigeria.  These climate conditions made it difficult for road to last in Nigeria.
  5. Wrong construction activities:  Most road construction activities are carried out without any Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).  Again, construction activities are carried out without professional expertise.  Roads are constructed without any research on the soil and topography on the area to know the type of materials that will be good, suitable and durable.  No effort is made to know the rate of traffic and the kinds of vehicles that will ply the roads.
  6. Unstable ground and poor drainage:  Nigerian roads are constructed without studies to know the stability of the ground.  Indeed, no proper ground survey are carried out before road construction in the country.  Also, most of the roads in Nigeria are built without good drainage system.  This in several ways make the road to get bad easily.
  7. Improper use of Roads: Roads in Nigeria are wrongly used.  We see people digging major roads and highways after construction to pass water pipes and cables without proper repairs or refilling.  Again, mechanics using the roads to repair vehicles that leave the surface of the roads with oil, petrol, diesel etc., and these are not good for road durability.  Furthermore, people pull and drag all kinds of metals and rods on the roads, which are not good practices for road durability.
  8. Poor workmanship and inadequate maintenance: Most Nigerian roads are built and constructed without the required professional experts.  Most of the workers at the construction sites of the roads construction companies are without any technical know-how on road construction.  Most of these workers are casual labourers that know little or nothing about construction.  Again, Nigerian roads are not properly maintained since there is no maintenance culture in the country (Emeasoba, 203).
  9. Corruption:  The potholes and the bad conditions of Nigerian roads are results of corruption system. The process of awarding the contracts for the construction of Nigerian roads is never transparent.  Most of the roads are awarded to incompetent, inexperienced and unprofessional construction companies.  Majority of the contracts are by proxies of the awarding persons who occupied positions of authorities. In most cases, the companies are paid far less the contract sums because a large percentage of the contract sums get into the private bank accounts of those in power.  Under this situation, the companies and contractors always cut corners to make their own profits.  So, the substandard materials, poor method of construction of the roads and lack of drainage systems on the roads are due to the corrupt systems that characterized the entire process.
  10. Lack of National Value and Culture in Nigeria: As a country, Nigeria does not have national values and culture.  This manifests itself in the weak institutions we have in the country.  In Nigeria of the 21st century, the individual that leads or occupy any of the national institutions tend to dictates what happens in these national institutions and these individuals direct the institutions and not the other way round.  For instance, the President of Nigeria today projects his image and beliefs on virtually everything. All other persons look at the individual that is the President, which has come to be known as “body language”, and tend to follow same.  This shows lack of national values and culture as far as the country is concerned.

This clear lack of National value and culture is traceable to the nation’s educational system, which is devoid of philosophical foundation.  Nigeria as a country, does not have a philosophy of education that could serves as a compass for the country’s developmental spaceship.  Our argument here is anchored on the fact that education plays pivotal role in the development of any nation.  It is only through education and the educative process that national values and culture could be implanted in the minds of the entire citizenry.  For this to be effective and functional therefore, the educational system must be established on a solid philosophical foundation, which will evaluate, rationalize and provide justification for any national value and culture.  Unfortunately, Nigeria and African countries lack this philosophical foundation for education, hence, the perpetual state of underdevelopment.


Potholes is one of the factors that hinder free movement of goods and persons in Nigeria.  The potholes nature of the Nigerian roads can be a serious disincentive for both local and foreign investment in the country.  This is due to the fact that potholes (bad roads) can be a serious constraint to productivity.  This infrastructure decay or deficiencies can as well reduced drastically the productivity of firms and households or individuals and this can directly affect the productivity of the Nigerian economy, especially in this recessionary period (World Bank, 1992; Otegbulu, 2011: 8).

Bad roads as a result of potholes in the cities can disconnect and prevent the cities in playing their key role in the evolution of national and global economies.  This is because, cities act as catalyst for the generation of vast wealth and is the engine room of the national economy.  So, potholes or bad roads in the Nigerian cities have direct correlation with the Nigerian economy as a whole.  This is anchored on the fact that the strength and growth of the Nigerian economy, “the Contact Point of international economies, the health of our democracy and the vitality of the humanistic endeavours are all dependent on whether the city works” (Otegbulu, 2011:8; Lariless, 1996: 28).

The implication of this is that where the roads in the cities of Nigeria are bad with potholes, the economies of these cities will be negatively affected, and this will pull down the performance of the national economy.  Again, the cities are where the seaports, railway stations and airports are, and so function as contact points for international businesses and investments.  Therefore, where the cities’ roads have so many potholes, there is the tendency that international businesses and investors will be discouraged to come into these cities.  When this happens, there can be disinvestment and this can affect the growth and performance of the economies of these cities and the national economy will equally nose-dive southward.  This is because transportation plays pivotal role in economic development of the cities and the nation.

Potholes on the roads will affect negatively the efficiency of the transportation system hence the economy.  Transportation also play wider role in the determination of developmental and environmental trends of any nation.  The connection between transportation investment and economic development has deeper impacts that transcends the movement of goods and persons.

Road transportation provides essential services to both businesses and households or the individuals within a given geographical area and this facilitate the movement of goods and persons, which are very crucial and vital in the operation of market economy.  So, road infrastructure is key to urban transportation according to Otegbulu (2011), and this is what determine whether a particular place could be developed or not.  This also determine whether people can live in a particular place or not and so serves as a catalyst for the development of urban centres.

What can be gleaned from our analysis here is the fact that potholes has severe socio-economic impacts on the country and it is a major hindrance to economic development.  This can be seen from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reports of 2003, which states that the annual loss to the Nigerian economy due to bad roads is Eighty billion (N80,000,000,000.00) Naira, and the additional operating cost of vehicles due to potholes (bad roads) is N53.8 billion.  From this, we see that the total annual loss of the nation due to potholes on our roads is N133.8 billion.  This is as at 2003, and it is estimated that this must have increased tremendously by over 600 percent or more in the last decade.  This loss also excludes other economic losses from potholes on the nation roads, which include, air pollution, delayed movements, armed robbery, accidents on the roads, police and other security agencies extortions.  This indeed, is enormous and Nigeria cannot adequately quantify this national loss due to lack of data (Fox, 1995).

Furthermore, the potholes on the Nigerian roads have severe consequences and impact on agriculture.  These potholes are fundamental problems and constraints to agriculture and rural development. Agrarian societies like Nigeria depend on good roads for the transportation of farm products from the farm to either the markets or urban centres.  Good roads are also needed for internal transportation and linkages of the rural communities.  Without these linkages by good roads network, agricultural products both for immediate human consumption and industrial use cannot be moved easily.  The inaccessibility created by potholes reduce productivity and lead to wastage of farm products. This also limit agricultural practices to subsistence level only.  Consequently, the disposable income of the farmers are drastically low and this cannot stimulate industrial development.  The purchasing power of farmers have direct influence on industrial development as some studies have shown.  This can be seen in the 1953 industrialization of Ghana (then Gold Coast).

Again, roads without potholes can aids farmers to access or get extension services that may in a way expose the farmers to modern methods of farming, and thereby help them to maximize profit and drastically reduce waste and losses.  Adopting these modern methods of farming could enhance productivity and production, and increase real income that can stimulate industrialization, promote savings and therefore influence the economy positively on the side of growth (Burningham, 2005).

Potholes on the roads inhibits industrialization.  Basically, good transportation is one of the major consideration for the location of industries.  Where the roads are bad with so much potholes, it will discourage the location of industries.  We can see the enormous losses caused by potholes on the Nigerian roads.  We often see trucks with goods, petrol tankers and lorries loaded with agricultural products falling on these bad roads.  When these happened, the goods and the vehicles may never be recovered.  These have severe impacts on the economy.  These are usually accompanied with social consequences as several have lost their lives while trying to scoop fuel from fallen tankers.

Also, potholes can be a serious challenge to education.  This is very common in developing countries.  A study carried out in Morocco in 1994 clearly showed a correlation between transport and school attendance.  In this study, bad roads showed that twenty one percent (21%) of girls and fifty eight percent (58%) of boys attended school.  However, where the roads are good, school attendance increased to forty eight percent (48%) for girls and seventy six percent (76%) for boys.  So, good roads can encourage school attendance.  The implication of this is that, potholes on the Nigerian roads can promote school dropout.


From our analysis so far, it has been established that good roads, are very vital for economic development.  This is anchored on the fact that good roads make it possible for goods and people to be moved easily.  Roads or transportation is the engine room for the promotion of socio-economic activities.  So, the poor state of the Nigerian roads as can be seen with the number of potholes on the roads pose a serious challenge to the development of the nation in various ways.

It is an established fact that nothing seems to be working in Nigeria presently. This has been attributed to bad leadership and corruption by scholars and experts.  However, it is our thinking that Nigeria’s problem is basically the lack of Philosophy of Education.  It is this lack of a sound Philosophy of Education that has helped to create all the vices in Nigeria which include corruption and bad or poor leadership as some may term it.

The current recession in the country has it root traceable to leadership problem in the country.  The argument is that Nigeria leaders has not been able to effectively harness and utilize the resources of the nation for optimal result.  This argument may sound plausible and logical to the political scientists, historians, sociologists and others without reflective thinking.  However, our argument here is that all Nigerian problems including bad leadership and the current recession are traceable to lack of proper philosophical foundation of the educational system.

The 21st century world is rule by ideas.  For leaders to be effective and manage their economies and countries well, they must have good or sound ideas that can be put into use to solve everyday problem(s).  To possess such utilitarian and functional ideas, one have to be educated.  So, education becomes the bedrock of development, because it is the process through which ideas are manufactured or conceived.  It is education that can lead to the training of the 3Hs; the Head that thinks, the Heart that creates, and the Hand that do.  Without proper education, these three vital parts of man will be dormant and may be useless.  So, for education to actually function as a catalyst for development, it must be anchored or laid on a sound philosophical foundation.

Nigeria as a country does not have such a philosophical base for education.  This is also the problem of Africa as a whole hence, Ekanem (2005) argues that “There exists no educational policy or philosophy in Nigeria that is technology-oriented or technologically driven.  Nigeria as a country needs to evolve a philosophy that will promote the culture of “do it yourself”.  It is the lack of such a philosophic foundation in our educational system that has hampered the developmental drive of the country…”(2).

It is clear from this that Nigerian socio-economic and developmental problems are due to lack of Philosophy of Education in the country.  This is because the goal of education is to equip man with the necessary skills, useful to both, himself and the society that he lives in.  To achieve this social goal of Education, there is the urgent need to train the human mind and his character through the educative process.  The training of the human mind and his character through the educative process will help develop in the minds of every citizen a common idea, thinking and culture that will have a national outlook.  To achieve this therefore, Essencism as a Philosophy of Education becomes an imperative for Nigeria.

The reasons for Essencism is because as a philosophy, it will help in the development of complete personality of all the citizens through the educative process.  The Nigerian citizens will be developed through essencist philosophy to be physically strong and spiritually sound.  This will also will help Nigerians to discover the physical and spiritual components of nature in which they are part of the whole.

Essencism as a philosophy sees man as the centrality of all the happenings on earth.  Man here is seen as the determinant and designer of the world that he lives and controls.  This philosophy will provide for Nigerians such orientation to see themselves as the determinant and designers of the Nigerian society.  This argument is anchored on the book of Genesis where man was given divine authority to inherit the earth and dominate it.  The book of Genesis provides the historical fact that God created man (Nigerian) in His own image to have both physical and spiritual dominion over all things.  As the last thing that God created, before His rest, man represents the “Divine Authority of God.  Man is God’s ambassador …” (Ekanem, 2005: 218-219).

The above analysis indicates that man is imbued with divine intelligence and knowledge to fulfil God’s purpose on earth.  It implies also that man education must attempt to establish his essence, which is those basic qualifies that make man who he is by God.  These key qualities of man can be seen in the dual nature of man as both physical and spiritual being.  It is this duality that constitutes the essence of man.  It is on the basis of this that we must reject any idea or philosophy that tends to diminish this dualistic status or nature of man.  For man was created for a divine purpose.  The creation of man was for the singular purpose of dominating his environment as established by God.  Therefore, man’s stay in the Garden of Eden was an arrangement to provide him with divine education that will aid him to cope and dominate his environment outside the Garden” (Ekanem 2005: 219).

Historically, we can see that man’s education was divinely designed to reflect his techno-nature.  Also, the inspirational dimension of education makes effort to satisfy the spiritual essence of man, while the applied science-technology will actualize the physical manifestation of man’s spiritual development.

It then follows that any educational philosophy must necessarily strives and seeks to promote physical and spiritual development of the human persons.  However, the emphasis for such educational philosophy must first and foremost lay a spiritual foundation for its education.  It is the spiritual development that can lead to inspirational advancement of knowledge, which practical applicability will seamlessly lead to technological advancement.  This will enable Nigeria as a country to be able to construct roads that will be durable and stand the test of time, without potholes.  This will also satisfies the physical essence of man since it is through technological advancement that man can be provided physical comfort such as good roads among others.  For even the physical comfort to be achieved or attained, there must be a corresponding spiritual level of development.  Inclusive in this spiritual aspect of man’s essence is the ethical value for all that is good.  This provides man with a sound knowledge of what is good and bad.

This knowledge which essencism will provide will lay bare to all Nigerian citizens, and makes it possible as a socio-cultural practice that honesty pays.  It will also help to eradicate naturally the culture and practice of looting the public treasury through public office.  This will put a stop to corruption in Nigeria as all the citizens will through the educative process established on the philosophical foundation of essencism know that corruption is against his interest and that of the nation.

Also, through essencism, the contractors, engineers, consultants and all the workers that will be involved in road construction will get to know and realize that they must do the right thing.  This is due to the fact that essencism will through the educative process establish ethical standard and value for all discipline.  The leaders that will emerge through this educational system will be physically and spiritually sound to render selfless service to the nation.  These leaders will be equipped physically and spiritually to function and operate within a national ethical standard and value that are internalize right from the crèche.

Again, with essencism, Nigeria will naturally evolve a national value, ethics and culture, which are presently lacking in the country.  With this evolution of national value and consciousness the ethnic and religious factors that tend to hamper national development will be eradicated.  In their place will emerge the essencist value of unity, patriotism, nationalistic consciousness, selflessness and ontological brotherhood that will be sustainable.

Furthermore, essencism will create a balanced nationalistic world view that will bond all Nigerians towards greatness.  This will end the current general disharmony that tends to hinder the country’s development in all fronts.  This is because Nigerians and the leaders will be equipped with intelligence to relate with all in a way and manner that will be beneficial and favourable to all Nigerians (Ekanem, 2016).  This is aptly capture by Ekanem (2015:406) when he states:

Education is mind-development centered systematic training with matters that affect the future of the individual and his life at large.  So, for the individual to be able to transcends self and contribute to the development of the society, his education and mind must be grounded in a philosophy that is creative to realize the value and contributions of other minds that exist with him in the society.  It is on the basis of this that philosophy of creative education anchored on essencism that can equip the minds of Nigerians to be creative with national spirit.

What can be gleaned from this is that the mind, which is the vital focus of education will be better equipped through essencism as a philosophy of education.  This will aids Nigerians to see other Nigerians and Nigeria as part of his existence.  This will make Nigerian leaders not to divert money meant for road construction, building of hospitals, electricity, education, provision of water etc. to his personal account abroad.  Essencism will also reorient the minds of our security operatives not to use arms bought for them with taxpayers’ money to extort and rob the same taxpayers on the roads and even in their homes and houses.

Indeed, the attainment of these socio-cultural reforms through essencism is very possible because the dual aspect of every Nigerian will be developed through essencism as an educational philosophy.  This is based on the logic that as a spirit being, man is intrinsically and directly linked with God from where the source of his intellectual inspiration is derived.  So, the spiritual development of Nigerians through essencism will reestablish a direct link with God.  And it is a fact that when God is involved in every affairs of man (Nigerians) we can be sure that there will be a manifestation of harmony, and once this happens, development will strive with ease.

Essencism will develop complete human personality in all Nigerians.  This is because no aspect of the human (Nigerians) nature or aspect will be ignored.  Nigerians will be totally developed as both a physical and spiritual beings through essencism.  It is when the human (Nigerians) personality is completely developed that we can begin to see the indices of sustainable development in Nigeria.  The logic here is that the development of nations are anchored on the development of human persons.  Without the development of Nigerians there cannot be development in the country.  Essencism therefore will help provide and lay this basic foundation for the development of Nigeria.


Our discourse here is on the socio-economic impacts of potholes on Nigerian roads.  Our analysis revealed that the situation of our roads and the general decay of state and national infrastructures are largely due to human factors.  This is because Nigeria as a country lack what can be rightly referred to as national value and ethics.  Also, there is no culture of maintenance in the care of public infrastructures and facilities.  The mindset generally is that the government should take care of these public infrastructures and facilities.  This attitude or mindset tends to make Nigerians to be too individualistic.  This attitude is also carried into the government, but the fundamental question is; who are the government?

A response to this question will unarguably be that, government are the people.  It is the people that makes the government.  So, the type of government any nation have will surely be a reflection of the kind of people that make up the country.  This argument is premised on the Platonic logic, that society is “Man-writ-large”.  So, to effect any positive change in a nation will require working on the minds of the people.  The best approach to alter the thinking of the people and bring about a positive change and attitude will be through education. This education as we know it can only function through a philosophy.  This is because philosophy is the major and only cleansing agent that makes education to be the transmitting process of something worthwhile, and in an ethical way that will be generally acceptable by the people.  This therefore makes the criteria for education to be a means of transmitting what the society consider and accept as being worthwhile, and knowledge that can be positively applied with a sense of commitment.

To function effectively as the agent of social development and transformation, education must be anchored on a philosophy that inspires new thinking and change attitude.  It is on the basis of this that essencism as a philosophy of education is seen as the panacea for the social maladies that tend to stall Nigeria’s sustainable development. Essencism becomes our choice because it targets the most lucrative and core component of a nation’ development, which is the human persons (citizens).  For it is axiomatic that no nation can develop without first developing the human persons (citizens).  It is indeed a conditio-sine-qua-non for national development, hence, essencism becomes the choice and way to follow in the transformation of Nigeria.  There will be no potholes on our roads when all the citizens know the good thing to do to prevent this.


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Economic and Socia Research Council (ESRC) Cities competiveness and Cohesion, 1996.

Ekanem, S. A. “A Philosophy of Education for Technological Development in Nigeria”.  Unpublished Doctoral (PhD) Dissertation, University of Calabar, 2005.

Ekanem, S. A. “The Philosophy of Creative Education in Nigeria: Utilitarian Approach” Contemporary Journal of Inter-Disciplinary Studies (COJIS) Vol.2 No. 2 February, 2015, pp.400-408.

Ekanem, S. A. “Essencism as an African Paradigm Towards the Salvation of the Environment”  A paper presented at the 3rd International Conference of Researchers International Network (RIN) in collaboration with University of Benin and University of Ilorin, Nigeria held at the University of Benin, from 13th – 15th October, 2016.

Emeasoba, U. R. B and Ogbuefi, J. U. “Sustainable Socio-Economic Development in Nigeria: A Case for Road Infrastructure Maintenance”, Journal of Economic and Earth Sciences, Vol.3 No.5, 2013, pp. 129-137.

Enwerem, G.C. “Equipment Maintenance and Sustainable National Development”, Proceedings of NACONSEET, 2005, pp.6-7.

Enwerem, G. C. and Ali, G. A. “Economic Effects of Bad Roads on Vehicle Maintenance in Nigeria” International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications Vol.6, Issue 6, June, 2016, pp 761-766.

Fox, W. F. Strategic Options for Urban Infrastructure Management, World Bank, Washington D.C., 1995.

Gupa, B. L. and Gupa, A. “Different Modes of Transportation:  Roads, Railways, Bridges, Tunnels and Harbour Dock Engineering”, Chapter 1, 2009, pp. 1-14. Retrieved August 30th, 2016.

Gurcharan, S. “Road Transportation Characteristics”, Highway Engineering, Chapter 1, 2008, pp.3. Retrieved November 2016.

Lawless, P. “The Linesr City: Towards a New Agenda”.  Town Planning Review Vol. 167, No.1, 1996, pp. 24-43.

Otegbulu, A. “Economic Valuation of Poor Road Infrastructure in Lagos: A Focus on Urban Households”, Global Journal of Human Social Sicence, Vol. II, Issue 10, Version 1.0, December 2011, pp.7-14.

World Bank, Urban Policy and Economic Development: an Agenda for the 1990s, World Bank, Washington DC, 1992.

World Bank, “Restoring Urban Nigeria:  Strategy for Restoring Urban Infrastructure and Services in Nigeria”.  The World Bank, Washington DC, 1996.  

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