Public Transportation in Nigeria – There are 36 states in Nigeria, with Abuja sitting as the capital of Nigeria. There are some states in Nigeria that are popular and regarded as the hottest places in Nigeria. First on the list is the metropolitan city, Lagos State, and other popular cities like Ibadan, Port-Harcourt, Calabar, Akwa-Ibom, Enugu states. Lagos alone is home to approximately 9 million persons out of the total number of 195.9 million people that live in Nigeria.
Nigeria is regarded as a developing nation, and so the transportation system in Nigeria is not as developed as other first world countries, where their train systems are almost perfect. In smaller states in Nigeria, where people do not migrate to every day, transportation means like bicycles, tricycles, motorcycles, buses, are limited. But every year people leave these smaller states and migrate to bigger cities in Nigeria where there are more white collar jobs and a perceived better standard of living.
In some of these big cities, they have a variety of transportation means to choose from so whether public or private, there is something for everyone. But, according to Statista, 40.1% of the persons living in Nigeria, live in poverty. This means that these persons cannot afford to live life the way they would want it. One such way is their choice of transportation, as they cannot choose private transportation but they have to stick with the public means of transportation.
How is public transportation in Nigeria?
The public transportation system in Nigeria is developing in most states. Apart from the usual tricycles and motorcycles, some states like Lagos have the Bus Rapid Transit system, a train system, a ride hailing bus system, and so much more. The public transportation system in Nigeria is cheaper than a private transportation system.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of public transportation in Nigeria.
- The rush hour convenience: Rush hour in some major cities in Nigeria is inevitable because Nigerians like to work, and work means hitting the road at the crack of dawn to avoid being stuck in traffic. Traffic is a serious issue, but public transport, like a bus, knows the easiest and shortest route that a car driver may not know of or maybe too rough for a private car to handle. Bus Drivers in Lagos also work with time, so in a bid to make a lot of money during the peak hours, they use a lot of short routes to get to their destinations. This in turn helps a Nigerian who is rushing to work, rather than staying stuck in traffic. Also, you can easily alight from public transport and board a motorcycle to take you to your destination in a matter of minutes.
- Parking spaces: The prices for ticket spaces in Nigeria continue to rise daily and it becomes worse if you have a private car. But a bus driver knows how to relate with the parking area attendants to evade paying any such amounts. Also, with public transportation, there is no need for parking costs, because it is the driver that incurs all such costs. Also, the stress involved in finding a proper parking space when using a private car is above and beyond.
- A healthier environment: Using a public means of transportation, instead of a private car helps to create a safer and healthier environment. How? The ratio of persons who can afford to own private cars is smaller than the ratio of persons who cannot afford to own such. And many cars on the road contribute to air pollution as a result of the fumes coming out of exhaust pipes. If you love a healthy environment then you may want to check that and use public transport today in a bid to reduce the number of vehicles on the road. But, who am I kidding right?
- A cheaper option: This pro ought to come in the first place but regardless. Public transportation will always be cheaper than private transportation. Even if you have your own private car, if you are stuck in traffic, your mind will be worried about the money you’d have to spend on fuel for the day. But if you are cooped up on a public bus, the driver has that headache to nurse. Apart from fuel, public transportation is just cheaper to use, all you have to do is get to the bus stop, pay your money and let the driver do the whole calisthenics involved in driving in Nigeria.
- Zero safety: Driving with public transport is putting your hands in the life of a stranger. Most reports of kidnapping, one chance, robberies that happen in Nigeria usually take place in public buses. No one boards a bus with the intention of getting harmed; the only intention is to get to your destination in ample time. But most of these public buses have used the rush hour periods to rob well meaning Nigerians of their money and some have lost their lives in the protest. Also, in a bid to escape traffic, public bus drivers take the most shocking routes and drive in the worst way possible. Some public buses, motorcycle, tricycle drivers drive like they have an extra life waiting for them back home. So, when you are sitting, the only thing to do most times prays to get to your destination.
- Delays: In as much as these drivers want to make money during peak hours, they also know how to waste people’s time. May not be intentional on their part, but they spend so much time calling for passengers that the people already sitting in their vehicles run out of time. The best advice will be to board public transport for one hour and thirty minutes ahead of time, especially if you reside in Lagos, Nigeria.
- Terrible customer service: The rule of ‘the customer is always right’ does not apply to public transportation in Nigeria. In some cases, the driver may order you out of his or her vehicle at any time once they have your money. Sometimes, they may stop at a different bus stop and you have to argue your way out, sometimes you may not get your change back. Just know that the public transportation system in Nigeria is every man for himself, and you have to shine your eyes in dealing with these people.
Public transportation in Nigeria is a better alternative to using a private service or car, but it also has its own disadvantages. All in all, you have to have your eyes at the back of your neck and prove tough, with these attitudes you can ride in public transport.