Sometime in 2018, I was at a Lagos bus park waiting to travel 703 kilometres to Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city. I was not entering a coach bus or a “luxurious bus”, as many Nigerians call it. I travelled on a small 16-seater Toyota Hiace bus that was so cramped with passenger goods; there was barely any space to move. As the bus was being loaded, a car pulled over and offloaded three big bags. The driver, a slim dark-skinned man with a circle beard, wanted to transport the bags to Abuja, and although he wasn’t travelling with the items, he was ready to pay for one seat on the already tight bus. I asked him, “why aren’t you using logistics providers like DHL or God is Good (GIG Logistics)?” He responded quickly, “they’re too expensive.”

This wasn’t the first time I’d see somebody try to send items through a bus