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Hard times persist as bus fares rise by 78% in 1 year


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ON the average, transport fare by bus within Nigerian cities increased by 78.08 percent in the last one year, according to a report released on Thursday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The 78 percent rise in the cost of transportation across Nigerian cities means that commuters, who have mostly been hit by COVID-19 pandemic, inflation and other economic woes, have had to pay almost double what they paid a year ago as transportation fares.

The report says that commuters’ average fare for bus journeys within cities increased by 2.60 percent month-on-month to N361.31 in February 2021, from N352.15 in January.

This increase may have been fueled by the consistent rise in inflation and confusion in the price of premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol. In February 2021, the NBS reported highest inflation rate in four years – 17.33 percent.

Bus journey statistics for February 2021. Infographics by Isah AbdulAzeez

The NBS further reports that, in the period under review, ‎states with the highest bus fares within cities were Zamfara- N620.15; Bauchi- N530.1, and Ekiti- N475.25.

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On the other hand, states with lowest bus fares within cities were Oyo, N190.42; Abia- N208.55, and Borno- N250.72.

According to the report, ‎commuters’ intercity average fare for bus journeys increased by 1.13 percent month-on-month and by 39.35 percent year-on-year to N2,372.87  in February, from N2,346.41 in January 2021.

Also, it was more expensive travelling from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Sokoto, and Lagos states to other cities as intercity fares were highest in these three states: FCT- N4,500.88; Sokoto- N3,350.60; and Lagos- N3,340.60.  On the other hand, states with lowest bus fares within cities were Bayelsa- N1,650.32; Bauchi- N1,690.80, and Enugu-N1,700.

The average fare paid by air passengers for single journeys decreased by 0.02 percent month-on-month, but increased by 17.97 percent year-on-year to N36,458.11 in February 2021, from N36,463.65 in January 2021.

The NBS reports that states with highest airfares were Delta/Lagos-N38,600; Anambra/Bayelsa- N38,500; Bauchi- N38,400, while states with lowest airfares were Akwa-Ibom- N32,500; Sokoto- N33,600, and Gombe- N35,000.

The NBS Transport Fare Watch report for February 2021 covered categories such as bus journey within the cities per drop constant route; bus journey for intercities, state routes, charge per person, and airfare charges for specified routes (single journeys).

It also covered the journeys by motorcycles (okada) per drop and waterways passengers transport.

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The NBS reports that motorcycle commuters paid more in February as fares increased by 2.86 percent month-on-month and by 97.68 percent year-on-year to N266.74 in February 2021, from N259.33 naira in January 2021.

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States with the highest fares by motorcycle per drop were Taraba- N436.20; Yobe- N425.02, and Kogi- N400.12.

On the other hand, states with lowest fares by motorcycles per drop were Adamawa- N86.47, and Katsina- N140.12.

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