Nigeria is home to more than 200 million people, of which more than half of this population depend on road transport to commute from place to place for their daily activities. Truth is, this population keeps increasing daily and therefore makes the transport business a viable business. How cool does it sound to make an average of 150,000 – 250,000 naira per month in the transport business? In fact, some smart ones make more than this amount monthly from this business. 

Pros And Cons Of Public Transportation In Nigeria
Pros And Cons Of Public Transportation In Nigeria

Becoming successful in the transport business doesn’t happen by accident. There are things you need to know and principles you have to apply to stand out in the competition. This is why we have put together this article; to show you how to start a successful transport business.

Transportation Business

Simply put, the transportation business is the movement of people and/or goods from one place to another for the purpose of making a profit from it. There are different types of transportation in Nigeria including Road transportation, Air transportation, Water transportation, Rail transportation etc. However, in this article, the focus is on road transportation since this is the most popular and easily accessible means of transport for most Nigerians. In addition, venturing into the road transportation business is cheaper to start compared to other transportation types.

Categories Of Road Transportation Business

There are different categories of road transport business for anyone interested in it to explore. These are:

  • Commercial Car service (Taxi)
  • Commercial luxury service
  • Commercial intercity services (cars or buses)
  • Commercial haulage services
  • Commercial tricycle (Keke-napep) 
  • Commercial motorbikes (Okada)

Tips To Start A Successful Transportation Business

  • Decide On Which Category You Want To Start With

For each of those categories listed above, the market share is significantly large enough for a newbie to venture into it and be successful. Unless you have the capital and in-depth knowledge about all of these categories, it’s wise to start with one. Take a moment to reflect and consider all the options for road transport business available to you, and select a niche you want to start with.

  • Choose A High Demand Route

Passenger traffic has a great impact on how much you stand to earn from your transport business. It’s not wise to stay in an area/location where the peak passenger number you can find is barely above 50, remember you are not the only one involved in this business. It’s best to pick routes where there is constantly a large pool of passengers. This guarantees that you earn sufficiently enough.

  • Buy An Automobile Or Fleet

Once you have decided on the category of road transport business and the route you prefer, the next thing to do is to get your automobile. Depending on your capital, you can buy one or get a fleet. If you don’t have the money to buy at once, then you can choose to get an automobile on hire purchase.

  • Ensure Your Automobile Is Road Worthy

The state of Nigeria’s roads is already poor enough, it’s necessary you get an automobile that will be strong enough for commercial purposes. You will run at a loss if you have to spend excessively on repairs and maintenance.

In addition, make sure you have the required documentation to avoid harassment from law enforcement bodies. Ensure you have your driver’s license, insurance certificate, etc and any other necessary documents required in your region.

  • Register With The Appropriate Bodies

In Nigeria, there are peculiar bodies that regulate those involved in the road transport business. Failure to register with any of these, depending on your location, can cause a hindrance to the success of your business. Some of these regulatory bodies are;

  • National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW)
  • National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarder (NAGAFF)
  • Nigeria Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO)
  • Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN)
  • Get A Driver Or You Drive Yourself

For anyone going into the transport business, you can choose to drive themselves or hire someone to do the job yourself. The choice is yours to make. If you choose to drive yourself, then you stand to have all the earnings from the business. However, if you choose to hire a driver, then the business will still be profitable provided you are lucky to have a trustworthy and honest driver.

  • Make A Plan

In the transport business, you obviously have many competitors. To stand out and have a fair share of passengers, you will have to look for a way to offer better services that will attract passengers to you. In addition to this, have a plan of the estimated amount you want to make per day/week and strategize on how to hit that amount.


The transport business is very lucrative, and anyone can decide to venture into it. This article gives strategies to help you start yours today!

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