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Economic Valuation of Military Checkpoint-Induced Travel Time Variability in Abuja, Nigeria (2012-2017)

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Document pages: 16 pages

Abstract: Between 2009 and 2016, Nigeria witnessed insurgency attacks from such militant groups as Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and O odua People s Congress (OPC). The most vicious and infamous threat yet was from the self-styled terrorist group going by the name, Jama atuahlus-sunnah lid-da awatiwal Jihad, otherwise known as Boko Haram. The group claimed responsibility for spate of bombings recorded not only within the north-east region of the country but on private and public buildings, bus stations, shopping malls, recreation centres and markets in major cities such as Kaduna, Kano and Abuja, Nigeria. The apparent threat to national security and perhaps most importantly to lives in these cities led security operatives, especially the Military and the Police, to erect checkpoints at strategic locations along major arteries and roads adjudged to be of strategic interest to the terrorists as one of the effective measures to curtail the activity of the terror groups. One of the fallouts of this measure is the phenomenon of obstruction of traffic and delays in reaching travel destinations by commuters often referred to in technical terms as travel time variability. Using the Nolan and Small (1995) modified economic valuation model and the erection of military checkpoints on the three highways in Abuja-Nigeria between 2012 and 2016 as reference points, this study examines the implication of the travel time variability in the federal capital territory (FCT). The findings of the study show that the mounting of military checkpoints might have cost the FCT between N8.25 and N9.58 billion annually within the period. For the period under study (2012 - 2016), the FCT economy might have lost between N40 and N59 billion to obstruction and traffic congestion occasioned by the mounting of military checkpoints.

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