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Transportation Costs Crisis in Nigeria: Businesses Struggle as Airfares and Bus Fares Surge


In a worrisome trend for Nigerian travelers, and business people transportation costs has skyrocketed in recent time causing increase in cost of running businesses and movement in Nigeria. The cost of air travel has seen a significant surge, with average ticket prices witnessing a staggering 34.06% increase over the past year. According to the latest report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), airfare prices rose from N55,906.86 in May 2022 to N74,948.78 in May 2023.

The escalating cost of air travel presents a major challenge for Nigerian citizens, impacting both personal and business travel. The rise in prices not only affects the affordability of flights but also potentially hampers economic activities and mobility across the country.

The NBS report also highlighted an 11.66% uptick in commuter bus fares during the same period, adding to the growing burden faced by Nigerians relying on public transportation. The report covered various modes of transportation, including bus journeys within the city per drop, intercity bus fares, motorcycle (Okada) rides per drop, and waterway passenger transport.

Specifically, the average fare paid for bus journeys within the city per drop increased by 0.23% in May 2023, amounting to N649.59 compared to N648.12 in April 2023. On a year-on-year basis, this represents an 11.66% rise from N581.79 in May 2022.

Similarly, for intercity bus travel, the average fare per drop in May 2023 reached N4,002.16, indicating a month-on-month increase of 0.19% from N3,994.51 in April 2023. Year-on-year, this translates to a 9.09% increase from N3,668.64 in May 2022.

Regarding airfares, the average fare paid by passengers for specified routes and single journeys experienced a marginal increase of 0.002% from N74,947.30 in April 2023 to N74,948.78 in May 2023. However, when compared to May 2022, airfares have soared by a staggering 34.06% from N55,906.86.

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Motorcycle transportation, commonly known as Okada rides, also witnessed an upward price trend, with the average fare paid amounting to N464.55 in May 2023. This represents a 0.49% increase from the previous month’s rate of N462.29. On a year-on-year basis, Okada fares have risen by 11.30% from N417.39 in May 2022.

Water transport fares, specifically for waterway passenger transportation, recorded an average fare of N1,045.15 in May 2023. This figure indicates a 1.39% increase from N1,030.83 in April 2023 and a 10.99% increase from N941.63 in May 2022.

The steep rise in transportation costs, particularly in air travel and bus fares, is posing significant challenges for Nigerian businesses. The soaring expenses directly impact companies’ travel budgets, making it more difficult for them to engage in essential business activities such as attending meetings, conferences, and industry events. The increased cost of airfares limits businesses’ ability to expand their operations, explore new markets, and maintain crucial connections with clients and stakeholders, potentially hindering growth prospects.

Additionally, the surge in bus fares creates logistical challenges and higher operational costs for businesses relying on ground transportation. These increased expenses can have a domino effect, leading to higher product pricing, reduced competitiveness, and potential constraints on delivery services. To mitigate these challenges, businesses may need to explore alternative solutions, such as leveraging virtual meeting technologies or negotiating discounted corporate fares, while policymakers should address the affordability and accessibility of transportation options to support the growth and competitiveness of Nigerian businesses.

As transportation costs continue to rise across various sectors, Nigerian travelers are faced with the pressing challenge of balancing their budgets with their need for mobility. The increasing cost of air travel, coupled with higher bus fares, Okada prices, and water transport expenses, calls for attention from relevant authorities to address the affordability and accessibility of transportation options for the country’s citizens.

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Efforts to mitigate the rising costs and ensure affordable transportation solutions will play a crucial role in supporting the economic growth and social mobility of Nigerians, fostering increased connectivity between regions, and enhancing overall travel experiences for individuals and businesses alike.


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