Traveling Within Nigeria

Martinez

Travel in Nigeria is usually by road or by air. The railway system is not used as much. Some roads in Nigeria are in poor condition and this can cause damage to vehicles. This applies especially to long journeys across the country.

There is usually a lot of traffic in the cities as is the case with most major cities worldwide, however, coupled with bad roads, erratic driving it makes driving conditions more hazardous.

Road travel by public transport

Within the cities, the most common forms public transport on the street are buses, taxis and motorbikes (known as Okada). All of these can be flagged down from the roadside. For taxis, a degree of haggling may be involved to agree on a fare. This is especially the case where the passenger wants to take ‘a drop’, i.e, be the sole occupant of the taxi to his/her destination. Taxi sharing is also common and costs less.

Most of the large hotels also have a taxi service available whereby the taxis can be hired for the day.

Large ‘luxurious’ buses are available for interstate travel and some of these are air conditioned, serve food, have TV screens and also toilets. However, it is said that they can be easy targets for armed robbers. Because of this, there may be a security guard on the bus for the duration of the journey and there are strict rules that all mobile phones must be switched off. This is to avoid any communication of bus passengers with robbers.

Road Travel by private transport

Although a large number of car owners drive themselves, it is common for expatriates, middle and upper class Nigerians to have drivers (chauffeurs).

Air Travel

Domestic Air travel is also one of the most common and quickest ways for inter-state travel. For example, a journey from Lagos to Abuja takes approximately one hour by air, however, by public transport on a bus it can take between seven to nine hours. As such, a lot of people traveling for business prefer to go by air.

There are a number of good airlines for domestic flights including:
o Aero Contractors
o Arik Air
o Bellview Airlines
o Chanchangi Airlines
o Virgin Nigeria

These airlines are fairly reliable but can be subject to sudden flight cancellation, this usually being the case if there are not enough passengers on a scheduled flight, or if the aircraft requires some sort of maintenance.

Despite the fact that facilities exist to buy air tickets in advance, a large number of Nigerians tend to just go to the airport and get the next available flight to their destination with any of the airlines.

Tickets can be booked and paid for online, or in some instances, they can be booked online only and then the payment then has to be made in person.

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