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Business Ideas

How to Start Transportation Business in Nigeria

Transportation is an essential aspect of human existence. Transportation business is a profit making business in Nigeria. It is so important to the extent that anyone who is being restricted to move, either by nature or conviction, is assumed to be among people having a disability in the world.

In this modern day, the existence of different kinds of vehicles has improved transportation and transportation business tremendously.

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How Profitable is Transportation Business in Nigeria ?

A transport business is that business that has something in mind – how to meet the demands of commuters. This demand can only be met by a good supply of transport vehicles which leads to service provision. You remember Economics!

Aside that, this part of the world really needs trust and integrity to carry out a business successfully without any hitch. Hence, transportation business goes beyond provision of buses, you will also need a trusted competent team to make the business successful.

A transport business can be costly and attention-seeking especially when you consider all the components needed to start the business but the profit you get at the end of the day is always worth it. Consider this example; you move 14 passengers from Lagos to Anambra at the rate of N 6000, that will give you a whooping sum of 84,000 for a trip. If a trip takes about 6 hours, then you can make a minimum of 3 trips per day; do the arithmetic! That’s N 252, 000 per day, don’t forget fueling which may cost just one-fifth of the entire profit per day. Now, imagine making millions per month in a hitch free manner.

Places to Operate Transportation Business in Nigeria

Transportation business is another business venture that is very lucrative in Nigeria. It is a business that many people in the country are in need of. You can start this business anywhere in the country, either in the rural or the urban centres. All you need is people.

Read Also: The Role of Transportation in a Supply Chain

Basic Advise & Guidelines

If you want to run this business in the city, there are opportunities for you there. It is advisable to operate long-distance travels which will take people to far areas. This will fetch you more money than short-distance travels. For instance, transporting people from Lagos to Abuja is more productive than running the business within a town or city.

Necessary Feasibility Studies

Before you venture into this business fully, ensure that you, first of all, do a good feasibility study. This will make you know the government policy of each state of the federation. Additionally, you will get to know the cost of living. This will help you know how to plan your business to generate more profits.

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Business Structure

There are different ways in which you can run this transportation business in Nigeria. You can run the business with a bus which takes people from one place to the other within and outside your region. Where you have enough money to buy more vehicles, you can diversify the business.

You can buy trucks, lorries and more buses and lease them out for those who need them for the transportation services in Nigeria.

Location and Vehicles

You need to get a good location to do this business efficiently. It should be near the road and close to high human and vehicular traffic. Get an open space where your clients will be able to easily locate you and patronize your business. You also need at least one functional car to commence and successfully run this business.

Read Also: 7 Places to Buy Cheap Cars in Nigeria for Car Selling Business or Personal Use

Profitability of Transportation Business in Nigeria

Transportation business is very profitable in Nigeria. Are still afraid of investing in the business? There is no need for any anxiety. Consider the following advantages to whet your appetite for the business:

(1) A Service Rendering Venture:

Transportation business is lucrative because it is service you render for the people. You charge any amount of money you desire from your clients and continue growing rich every day.

(2) Provides Economic Independence:

Due to the fact that this job is yours, you are free from any insults, queries, quarrels etc. You are your own boss. This profession gives economic independence.

(3) It is Often Demanded:

Transportation business is often demanded in Nigeria. Everyone a transport need. It is a business of popular demand because of the need to move from place to place.

Funding/Capital Needed to Start Transportation Business in Nigeria

To start a transportation business in Nigeria, you need to buy or rent a room that you can use as your office. The cost of this depends on the area where you live in the country.

The cost of getting this apartment varies, depending on where your office is set or positioned. You also need at least two cars, perhaps fairly used ones.

It is estimated that at least N2,000,000 should be budgeted for the business. This will take care of both the capital expenditures and the recurrent expenditures. It will also cover logistics and miscellaneous.

Perhaps you do not have the money to get two cars, One car is also good to kick off the business effectively. With time, you can add more cars and expand the business for more profitability. Carefully manage the business by scheduling your take-off time and landing time.

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You need to employ some people to help you run this business for you. It is essential to employ a driver who is competent and has been given driving license. You also need an accountant to keep account record of the daily activity in your company.

Requirements For Startup Transportation Business in Nigeria


For you to own your own transportation business running smoothly in Nigeria, you need to acquire some plots of land to use as your garage. While acquiring the land, make sure that you get all the necessary land certificates. For instance, Certificate of Occupancy is given by the government to secure your land.

Before you get this C of O, you must have done the land agreement with the person that sold it to you. You must have also have done a survey of the land and acquired all the necessary documents of land ownership.

Read More on: 10 Things to Consider Before Buying a Land In Nigeria

Housing & Building:

This house will serve as the office for you and your employees. This will be a place to take the record of your vehicles coming in and those going out. It is also a place to do the account of all the money generated from the business.

A Legal Practitioner:

A barrister is needed to give you legal advice on how to run your business so that you do not go against the law.

Partnership with Security Agencies:

You need to have a cordial relationship with officers and men of the security the security agencies. You must maintain good relations with Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and well and Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

The FRSC will guide you on the traffic rules so that the smooth running of your business will not be hindered by anybody. The essence of the Police is to guard your garage to avoid theft.


This is the central to and a crucial part of the necessary things you need to make available before starting this business. Buy or rent your vehicles either or including cars, buses, trucks while constructing your garage.

Tools Needed to Start Transportation Business in Nigeria

There some vehicle tools you need to make available in your garage. You also the get the spare ones in your vehicles. Some of them are:

  1. Air tools and accessories
  2. Clamps and measuring tools
  3. Creepers and carts
  4. Engine and vehicle lift
  5. Fitting and hose/ Line connector
  6. Gloves
  7. Hammer
  8. Nuts, Bolts Washers
  9. Power tools
  10. Screwdrivers etc


It is necessary that you need to employ some people to help you to do your business. Although you do not need to employ many people, they are still a set of people who are necessary to the success of your business. Some of the ones you need are:

  1. Competent drivers
  2. Automobile Mechanic
  3. Account manager
  4. Secretary
  5. Conductors

Competition & Sustainability

There is competition in the transportation business in Nigeria. If you want to sustain your business, you need to get the following thing;

  1. Good customer relationship
  2. Get local food sellers available in your garage
  3. Hygiene
  4. Avoid delay
  5. Delver any ‘message’ given early
  6. Cheap price
  7. Avoid over speeding

How to Start a Transportation Business in Nigeria

1. Have a transport business plan

Every business that desires sustainability deserves a well-structured plan. A business plan helps you to structure your thoughts in an organized and defined way while connecting procedures and processes you wish to use get your business goals achieved. This is also where you put your financial plan as regard the inflow and outflow of cash for the smooth running of the transport business.

In short, a proper business plan is a written description of your business’s future, so plan that future well first. Itemize costs such as drivers pay, vehicles, insurance, petroleum and maintenance. Thoroughly research your operational and target market as you prepare your plan.

If you want to start in a big way, you could also get a financier to support you in the beginning of your business, such as banks.

This business plan must be convincing enough to encourage them to help you with loans. But, ensure you do a proper research before you start big, this could include fares from different origins and destinations, basic challenges faces faced during transit, brief description of drop off points and parks and so on.

2. Get a credible driver 

People will never patronize a transport business with reckless drivers so get well trained drivers that will not spoil your business on the long run. You could drive it yourself at first, to be able to calculate what profit is expected at the end of the day or week. It is that information that is then used to form the basis of payment structure you will build for the driver.

Your getting involved from the onset will also expose you to whatever will be experienced by the driver later on, so that your driver will not just come up with lies that he can defend confidently due to your ignorance. This is also one surefire way to ensure the highest return on investment. Note that your driver must be an adult and possess a valid driver’s license.

3. Get a lawyer involved

In a region where corruption flies around and integrity is scarcely found, you need to go legal. Let there be a signed agreement between you and the driver so that he will always control his conduct while operating the vehicle day in, day out.

There might be a list of rules and regulations the vehicle operator must abide by during the period of business contract and then the bus owner and the bus operator will have a portion of the letter to sign.

4. Register with the Transport Associations

This could be the responsibility of the bus owner or the bus operator. Registration is usually done by anyone who wishes to join the team of transport service providers, this is for database purposes and to ensure a strange person with a bad motive, such as kidnapping can be easily tracked down.

This in a way also discourages anyone to from joining the vehicle operators recklessly, thereby making the market open to just any unserious person.

5. Get your vehicles

Depending on your financial strength, you could start with a vehicle or a more. Ensure you spend less at the beginning of the business so that you won’t find yourself investing more on the expenditures that have not started yielding profits for you.

You could start with a previously used Toyota bus (Tokunbo) or smaller car/space bus which may cost you a little more than a million naira and gradually upgrade to more comfortable and higher capacity buses as things get better, especially when you need to start running an inter-city or inter-state transport service.

Registrations are important as an individual transporter, except you want to operate as a registered limited liability company, then you may not be allowed to operate with the transport unions.

6. Plan for maintenance

Many of the rickety buses on our roads are not well maintained and you need to be different from them if you really want to get their passengers. Ensure you have a maintenance plan that you follow religiously, fix your vehicle as soon as it gives you a bad sign so that you won’t end up apologizing to your passengers halfway to their destinations due to a problem out of your control.

You should also get a very clean vehicle, as passengers judge the condition of your vehicle and the quality of your service according to what it looks like on the outside.

7. Ensure your vehicle particulars are valid

One of the hitches faced by everyday transport operators are the stop points of vehicles for documents tendering. In order to avoid paying unnecessary fines and facing challenges in the process of rendering your transport service, ensure all your vehicle documents are up to date and valid.

This includes insurance, roadworthiness and vehicle license. If it’s a new car, you’ll be needing allocation form, CMR, proof of ownership and plate number. To get a driver’s license, all you need are 2 passport photographs, vehicle’s registration number, your full name, address, date of birth, phone number and next of kin’s phone number.


Transportation business is very lucrative. To have the smooth running of your business, you must be diligent, trustworthy, and efficient.

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Ekemini Ekpo

Ekemini Ekpo is a Content Developer at InfoGuideNIgeria.com. InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

Abimbola Joseph

Abimbola is a Content Developer at InfoGuideNIgeria.com. InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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