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How Lagos Agberos Rake In N123 Billion Annually



While many people consider Lagos State to be the hub of commerce and commercial activities in Nigeria, it is a certainty that the state has not actually explored all avenues to make it richer than it is and reduce some of its debts to both local and foreign creditors.

One area, where attention is being focused for the state to take advantage of is the activities of touts, including officials of the transport unions operating in Lagos State otherwise known as agberos.

Investigations have revealed that the transport unions make as much as N123.078 billion annually from commercial transporters operating in the state.

It was gathered that the estimate came from what was paid by commercial buses, tricycles and motorbikes in the metropolis.

The amount is besides the tips and alleged bribes paid by the transporters to policemen and other government agencies including Lagos.

There are said to be 75,000 commercial buses (danfos) in Lagos, according to the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) estimates.

The report states that:

Each commercial vehicle driver pays at least N3,000 to agberos, also known as ticket touts, everyday, according to oral testimonies obtained from more than 50 commercial bus drivers in 21 out of 37 local council development authorities (LCDAs) in Lagos.

This means that these drivers pay N225 million each day, N6.75 billion each month, and N82.125 billion each year to agberos in Lagos.

That is not all. There are at least 50,000 tricycles (Keke Marwas) in Lagos, according to a 2020 report by Techcabal – Never mind the Lagos State government’s recent ban, which is just a mere pronouncement.

More than 60 tricycle drivers in 21 LCDAs in the commercial city said that they paid at least N1,800 to agberos each day. This is just a conservative estimate.

Going by the figure provided by MOALS members, there are 37,000 commercial motorcycles in Nigeria’s commercial hub. By implication, motorcycle riders pay N22.2 million to agberos each day, N666 million each month, and N8.103 billion each year.

In total, commercial buses, tricycles and motorcycles pay N123.078 billion to agberos in Lagos each year. This excludes taxis as there are no relevant data on this category.

The N123.078 billion generated by agberos each year amounts to 29.4 per cent of Lagos State’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of N418.99 billion in 2020.

The amount made by the agberos according to the report was bigger than the IGR of any other state in Nigeria last year.

With all these, it is believed that if the state government handles the collection of the fees paid by the owners and drivers of commercial buses and other categories of means of transportation in the state, then the state would have been saved the hassles of getting alternative means of financing some of its “people-oriented” projects.

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