It is obvious that the transportation business in Nigeria is one of the most striving businesses you can venture into. With a population of almost two hundred million people then the transportation business in Nigeria is worth doing.
The transportation business is one of the most profitable and ancient businesses you can think of because from inception people must move from one place to another. Before I go into details of discussing the transportation business in Nigeria I will like to tell you how I became a transporter.
In the year 2016, things were so hard in Nigeria, Governors could not pay salaries. Businesses were folding here and there. In fact, almost everything in the country was on hold. But there were two sectors that were moving anyhow. The food sector and transport sector.
Though there was no money in the country, yet people must move from one point to another in search of food. In fact, even when the civil servants weren’t paid, yet most of them pay transport to their various offices.
So, after a critical analysis of the system then, I had no option than to move into the transportation business. I never regretted it. I am still in it and will forever be in it. Therefore, this article on the transportation business in Nigeria is coming from an experienced transporter.
Types of Transport Business
There are basically two types of transportation businesses in Nigeria and of course in any part of the world. The two types of transportation businesses are:
- Interstate or intercontinental
Everything I am going to discuss in this article applies to all means of transportation. Therefore, if you are considering going into air transport, sea transport or land transport read on because the principles of successful transport business work in all.
Inter-state Transport Business
Interstate or intercontinental transport business entails moving passengers and goods from one state to another. It also involves the moving of passengers and goods from one country or continent to another.
This is the most structured or organized form of transportation business in Nigeria because it involves moving from one specified terminal to another terminal. For instance, for those of us that travel from the eastern part of the country to the northern part. We must go to one of the luxurious bus terminals such as GUO, Young Shall grow, Chisco, and many more.
It is organized because you must book ahead. The company or owner of the transportation company gets the whole money before allowing the bus to leave. There is no much problem between the driver(s) and the owner of the company because everybody is settled before leaving the park.
In addition, the company or owner knows when the bus will get to its destination. Therefore, the movement of vehicles is regulated.
Intra-state Transport Business
This is the form of the transport business in Nigeria most people try to venture in. it involves the moving of passengers and goods within the states. This is usually done using tricycle (Keke), motorcycle (going or bike), and small cars, usually Mazda, Toyota starlet, and many more.
I will say, this is the most difficult part of the transportation business because the drivers only bring returns after the day’s job or weekly. The owner has no control over where the car, tricycle, or bike will ply.
In fact, most people lose their money in this venture because they hardly control the business. I have good news for you because I have been in this type of transportation business in Nigeria for some years now. So, I know what it takes to run a successful intrastate transportation business in Nigeria.
Problems and How to solve them in The Transport Business
The first problem most people face with the transport business is the driver problem. If you are planning to run the most structured transport business, which is interstate, then this problem is less or almost solved because you pay the driver at the end of the day. Not the driver balancing you at the end of the day or week.
The fare comes to you every time your busloads, so you pay the driver and other staff that will work with you. You have control over the business.
The second problem you may face is a mechanic problem. Most times the mechanics and drivers connive to cheat the owners of the car. So to solve this problem, you must have a dedicated mechanic. This applies to both interstate and intrastate transport businesses.
Most interstate transport business companies have their mechanics in their yards or compounds. So it is not a big problem. But if you are thinking of going into intrastate, then search for a good mechanic around and make him yours. To do this, you will mandate all your drivers to be taking their cars, tricycle, or bike to him. In fact, you have to warn them seriously not to take your car or tricycle to any other mechanic.
If you do this, then you have solved the problem of the driver telling you, oga I did not work today. Oga I have been in the mechanic since Monday, therefore, no balance. Or Oga I bought this part or that part so there is no money.
Above all, make sure you’re always present before the mechanic will open your engine. You should keep doing this until you find the reason to trust the mechanic.
The biggest problem those in the intrastate transportation business in Nigeria face is how to control the business. To do this, you must have a particular place or point where your driver(s) must be parking at the end of the day.
In my own case, I am into the tricycle transport business. All my riders leave my parking space by 6 AM and come back at 7:30 PM with daily balance. With this, I have little or no problem having my money at the end of the day.
I have a dedicated mechanic who all of them take the tricycle to, in case of any fault. Another interesting thing to note is that you must have a particular customer you buy parts from. In fact, that will help you grow your business fast because you will always have access to spare parts and pay later.
How to Start a Transportation Business in Nigeria and Succeed
My advice has been and will always be that you should start any business with a mentor. Therefore, the first thing to do is to search for a successful transporter and ask him to mentor you. Getting a mentor is not as simple as you may think.
You may know of a successful transporter but the manner of approach may make him refuse to mentor you. Therefore, learn how to approach a mentor. Anyway, I will give you a clue on how to do that.
These are the exact words I have been using to get mentors in the area of my endeavors. And no one has ever rejected me. “Good day sir or ma. knowing too well you are a very busy person, so I will be brief.
I know you have been successful in the transportation business and you must have overcome a lot of obstacles before getting to the point you are now. I love your business and will like you to mentor me. If there is any way, I will be of help to you while mentoring me; I will gladly accept any responsibility from you. So what do you say?
I send the above message as a text message that is if I can’t reach the person one on one. And if I can reach the person one on one I still use the same words.
Therefore, to start a successful transportation business in Nigeria you must search for a mentor that will guide you. in fact, be ready to pay for a mentor than starting without one.
Cost of Starting Interstate Transport business in Nigeria
The cost of starting an interstate transportation business largely depends on the type of car or bus you want to start with.
As at the time of writing this article, a brand new Toyota hummer bus is within the range of 26 and 28 million Naira. The cost of a brand new Siena Wagon is within the range of 5 and 6 million Naira.
Therefore, if you are going for a brand new car or bus then you should be looking at the range of the amount above.
One big secret to succeed in the transportation business is to start with a minimum of 3 buses or cars. That does not mean that you can’t start with one. It is just easier to succeed with more number of cars or buses than one.
If you are starting with one, I strongly advise you to register it with an established transport company. They will manage it and only give you returns weekly or monthly.
For instance, you can register your bus or car with ITC (Imo Transport Company). Or move to Benin City and make research on good transport companies that allow individuals to register his/her car or bus with them.
In fact, even if you have the capacity of starting with three, I will suggest you start with registering with such established companies because it will give you time to establish a good structure for your own company.
I mentioned Benin City because that is one of the cities with the largest number of transportation businesses in Nigeria.
You can start with Tukumbo cars or buses. In that case, you don’t need much as mentioned above. As at the time of writing this article, the Tukunbo hummer bus is within 5 and 7 million Naira. And Tukumbo Siena is within the range of 1.4 and 1.6 Million Naira.
The rule of thumb is that you should start with a sound car that will work for a long time before undergoing major repairs.
Cost of Starting Intrastate Transportation Business in Nigeria
There are lots of variables you must consider before costing the amount of starting an intrastate transportation business in Nigeria. From experience, good startup capital for this is between the range of N 2,000,000 and N5, 000,000
Transportation Business in Nigeria – Wrap Up
I hope you enjoyed reading the detail on how to start a successful transportation business in Nigeria. As I earlier said, the transport industry is a multi-billion Naira industry that cannot be oversaturated at all. Therefore, follow the instructions I laid down from my own experience in the business. And you will soon be good to go.