The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is looking to harness a whopping N37 trillion from the transportation sector as part of his plan to grow the economy if elected as president of Africa’s most populous nation.
In his political manifesto launched at the weekend and made available to InsideBusiness, the presidential candidate of the ruling party evaluated Nigeria’s transport sector at N37 trillion, and promised to harness all available resources and means in the sector to grow the economy.
“Overall, the transportation sector is valued at N37 trillion. Transport activities contributed 1.84 percent to real GDP in Q2 2022. Road transport accounts for the lion’s share of passenger and cargo movement, representing roughly 90 percent of all transportation activities in 2021.
“Developing the political will and technical capacity to move people and goods in a safe, affordable, and accessible manner will help create a better future for Nigerians,” Tinubu stated in his manifesto.
In a veiled reference to Lagos State, the APC standard bearer for Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election further stated: “Transportation is not just some technological or mechanical feat. Behind the movement of people and things, lay human stories and the aggregate of those accounts tells us much about our nation.”
Continuing, he said “We will work hard to improve our various transportation systems to make sure those individual human stories and the story of our nation affirm the finest aspirations of our society. We shall focus our policies and interventions on all the key methods of transportation: road, rail, maritime, and air,” Tinubu promised.
In Lagos State, Tinubu’s bastion of political strength touts dominate collection of transport tickets amounting to billions of naira daily in a complex web of transport sector revenue losses to the state regarded as Nigeria’s commercial capital.
Lagos transport ticket touts fleece the state of billions of naira in transport taxes collected from drivers of commercial buses, tricycles, and motorcycles.
A report by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) disclosed that ticket touts in Lagos collect an average of N3,000 from commercial buses, N1,800 from tricycles, and N600 from motorcycles each day.
However, outside this amount, they collect and submit only N100 or N200 to local government area councils or LCDAs, taking the larger chunk of the proceeds amounting to more than N32.85 billion every year.
The Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) estimates commercial buses at over 75,000 with each of the buses paying at least N3,000 to agberos, also known as ticket touts, every day.
There are at least 50,000 tricycles (Keke Marwas) in Lagos, according to a 2020 report by Techcabal, and more than 100,000 commercial motorcyclists despite ban by the state government.
Anambra State government has recently banned the activities of transport ticket touts in the state, and streamlined transport taxes and levies paid by transporters. Other states are yet to do the same.