BusinessDay

More Nigerians resort to trekking as transport fares soar

The high cost of road transportation in Lagos, a major commercial hub in Nigeria, has led consumers to resort to other alternatives like trekking, a BusinessDay survey shows.

High transportation fares across different parts of the country persisted in June, as has been the case since the beginning of the year.

Esther Olatunji, a banker, who works on the mainland complained that transport fares are rising daily and that hardly would one find a fare of N50 these days in Lagos.

“Transport costs are rising daily. It used to cost N50 to get from one bus stop to the next, a distance that is occasionally walkable, but suddenly they have increased by 100 percent,” Olatunji said.

Damilare Adesina, a sales manager at a private company that sells autos and machinery, said that he had to improvise and reduce the cost of transportation by trekking due to limited cash, especially in the current economy where income is stagnant.

“I walk a distance of 1.2km, saving me N100 as opposed to paying the inflated price of N200 before I then board a Napep for N100 to work, so I spend N200, instead of N250 while going to work,” Adesina added.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that across the 36 states, the average fare paid by commuters for bus journeys within the city per drop rose by 42.02 percent to N582.6 in June 2022 from N410.2 in June 2021. On a month-on-month basis, it increased by 0.10 percent from N582.06 in May.

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I am trying to keep fit by trekking but it is a disguise because I don’t have money to pay for transport, said Anthony Frank, a school teacher who lives at Ogudu.

“Whenever I don’t have enough money for transport, I trek from Maryland to Ojota so that I can afford the transport cost of the remaining distance which is minimal, compared to the surge from Maryland to Ojota,” Frank said.

Transportation is an essential part of human activity and thus, takes a significant share of a person’s income.

According to the NBS, Nigerians incurred N40.2 trillion as household consumption expenditure in 2019, out of which 56.7 percent was spent on food items, followed by transportation which was second highest with 6.4 percent, while health and education came next with 6.1 percent and 6.0 percent respectively.

Apart from the transport cost, Nigerians are also battling with increasing food prices which surged by 22.02 percent in July 2022, the highest in 14 months from 20.6 percent in the previous month.

“The increase reflects the rising cost of living and worsening living standard, as average per capita income (which has been falling) has not kept up with the cost,” Moses Ojo, a Lagos-based economic analyst said.

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