Key questions:

  1. The Nigerian government plans to remove the petrol subsidy next month. How will this decision impact the cost of transportation in Nigeria?

  2. Transportation is the second highest expense in Nigerians’ income. In March 2023, it contributed 1.4% to inflation. To what extent have recent global events influenced transport fares recently?

Yesterday, I spent ₦16,000 on Bolt charges for a return trip from Ikeja to Lekki (a two-hour journey), triple my 2021 expense. Meanwhile, my sister, who visits me by bus from Berger to Ikeja (20 minutes), now spends ₦800 from ₦300 in 2021, a 167% increase.

I’m sure this is the case for many Lagosians, and it's probably even worse across the country. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), after food (56.7%), Nigerians spend the most on transportation (6.4%).

Broadly, there’s been a drastic increase in Nigerians’ cost of living, but it is worth zooming in on transportation costs over the last five years (2019-2023).

The goal is to see how much Nigerians cough up to move around and how much more they could spend with events like a subsidy removal underway, and this is what today’s article will focus on.

We will answer why transportation costs have increased, identify the transport hotspots in the country, and assess the chances of further hikes.

To do this, we will use data provided by the NBS on the various means of transportation.