Why Nigeria needs efficient public transport systems
Building efficient public transportation for Nigerians. Source: Stears Business

Depending on who you ask, London is arguably known for a few things—Big Ben, the London Eye, Queen Elizabeth II and the Transport for London (TfL). The city's public transport system is not perfect, but it goes a long way in making the lives of millions of commuters easier.

Unfortunately, Nigerians cannot easily relate to the convenience of a 20-minute bus journey from Oxford Circus, located in the heart of Central London, to Canning town in East London for £2 (approximately ₦1,130). Public transport remains a fundamental challenge for Nigerians.
 

Some takeaways:
 

  • Informal public transport is the prevalent mode of travel for most people in Nigeria. Yet they are grossly unsafe. Almost twenty thousand Nigerians were involved in road accidents (fatal, serious and minor) in the second quarter of 2021.

  • 64% of commercial vehicles were responsible for these crashes. An efficient transport system could be a gamechanger and ensure the safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians in the country.

  • Lagos is one of the few states in Nigeria that has attempted to revamp its public transit network to ease the city's nightmarish congestion problem and lower transit costs. There are lessons to learn from the state's failed and successful attempts.


Nigeria's urban population is rapidly growing. Of the 200 million people who live in the West African nation, over 50% live in urban areas, and this figure will spiral upwards in the coming years. As urbanisation rises, road networks—if poorly maintained—worsen, posing a problem for citizens and the broader economy. 

Like most things in Nigeria, the public transport sector is largely informal, disorderly, chaotic and operated by private actors. 

Roads are the most important mode of transport across Nigeria. In places like Lagos, the public transport story is largely

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Stephannie Adinde

Stephannie Adinde

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