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More pain for Nigerians as transport cost rise most in 5 years

Nigerians are experiencing more pain as they spend an average of N430.6 on transport fare by bus within Nigerian cities, the highest in five years. This is according to the recently released National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)’s August 2021 transportation fare report.

Commuters’ average fare for bus journeys within cities has more than tripled by 230.5 percent to N430.6 in August 2021 from N130.3 in the same month of 2017, the NBS report shows.

Transportation is an essential part of human activity and thus, takes a significant share from a person’s income. But with declining incomes, rising transport costs have eaten more in the pockets of people.

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

The surge in transport fare over the past five years may have been fuelled by the consistent rise in inflation and in the price of premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, liquid which is used as a fuel for motor vehicles. Petrol price rose by 14.2 percent in August 2021 to N164.9 per litre from N144.4 in August 2017, NBS shows.

Moses Ojo, a Lagos-based economic analyst noted that the surge is not surprising considering the fact that the prices of petrol have increased markedly in the same period.

“Also, the rate of inflation in the last five years isn’t the same in 2021 if we consider the compounded average for the indicator,” Ojo said.

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Food and transportation take about 65 percent 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.

Further findings from the report show that average fare paid by commuters for bus journey intercity increased by 1.80 percent month-on-month to N2, 588.7 in August 2021 from N2, 542.9 in July 2021.

“States with highest bus journey fare within city were Zamfara (N670.3), Bauchi (N635.1) and Taraba (N550.1) while states with lowest bus journey fare within city were Oyo (N220.5), Abia (N239.4) and Borno (N297.2),” the report stated.

For air passengers, average fare paid for specified routes single journey increased by 0.03 percent month-on-month to N36, 805.4 in August 2021 from N36, 793.2 in July 2021.

States with highest air fare were Rivers (N38, 900.0), Edo (N38, 500.0), Lagos (N38, 200.0) while states with lowest air fare were Akwa-Ibom (N33, 100.0), Sokoto (N33, 700.0), and Gombe (N35,200.0).

Average fare paid by commuters for journeys by motorcycle per drop increased by 3.17 percent month-on-month to N303.3 in August 2021 from N294.0 in July 2021.

States with highest journey fare by motorcycle per drop were Yobe (N500.5), Lagos (N487.2) and Taraba (N465.1) while states with lowest journey fare by motorcycle per drop were Adamawa (N107.1), Niger (N180.1) and Katsina (N180.27).

For waterway transport, average fare paid by passengers increased by 2.0 percent month-on-month to N848.4 in August 2021 from N831.9 in July 2021.

States with highest fare by waterway passenger transport were Delta (N2, 550.5), Bayelsa (N2,500.5) and Rivers (N2,300.1) while states with lowest fare by waterway passenger transport were Borno (N270.6), Kebbi (N360.1) and Taraba (N380.2).

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