‘A hard time’: A Nigerian bus driver’s monthly costs | Business and Economy

What’s your cash value? A brand new collection from the entrance line of the price of residing disaster, the place individuals who have been hit exhausting share their month-to-month bills.

Title: Muyideen Olamilekan Jimoh

Age: 40

Occupation: Self-employed business bus driver

Lives with: Spouse Falilat (37) and sons Faizan (9) and Mustaheen (6)

Lives in: Lagos, Nigeria, Africa’s most populous metropolis and the nation’s financial capital. The household lives in a single room ground-floor condo with a separate lavatory in a middle-class neighbourhood.

Month-to-month earnings: Makes 364,000 naira ($823) from his driving – however after deducting the price of renting the bus (140,000 naira or $316), gas (84,000 naira or $190) and casual bus cease taxes (42,000 naira or $95), which involves a complete of 266,000 naira ($601) – he’s left with 98,000 naira ($221). The median wage in Lagos  161,000 naira ($364).

Complete household bills for the month: 98,000 naira ($221)

WYMW - Lagos
Muyideen Olamilekan Jimoh, 40, is a self-employed business bus driver in Lagos [Femke van Zeijl/Al Jazeera]

Everybody is aware of him by his final title: Jimoh. He’s a well-recognized face on the Lagos mainland the place he lives and works. When Jimoh walks via his neighbourhood, typically sporting his baseball cap, he does so with a smile and a pleasant comment for these he passes alongside the way in which. Even the agberos on the bus cease, the younger males who tax passing automobiles and usually are not recognized for his or her cordiality, increase their fingers in greeting once they see Jimoh.

For years Jimoh drove a keke, one of many yellow tricycle taxis that was once ubiquitous in Lagos. He owned his personal car and thru exhausting work saved sufficient cash to purchase three extra, which he rented out. Then in February 2020, the Lagos State Authorities introduced a ban on kekes to enhance highway security. Jimoh needed to promote his tricycles at a loss and begin over.

Not one to despair, he took classes to discover ways to drive a automobile. Now Jimoh drives a minibus, recognized domestically as a korope. His route takes him from a busy bus cease below the flyover of Ikorodu Street, the motorway chopping via the Lagos mainland, to an overcrowded neighbourhood about 10 kilometres (six miles) away. Jimoh doesn’t personal the car himself and has to pay day by day hire to the proprietor. Which means he should make a minimum of 5,000 naira ($11) in fares, roughly 50 passengers, earlier than he begins incomes.

Final yr, he doubled the bus fare and now prices about 100 naira ($0.23) per individual. Nonetheless it by no means appears to be sufficient, he says. “Tins price properly properly for market,” he says in pidgin: all the pieces out there could be very costly.

Earlier than the raging inflation of the previous yr – reaching a 17-year excessive of 20.8 p.c in September – he may need tried to economize to ultimately purchase a minibus for himself. However now he doesn’t see the purpose.

Inflation in Nigeria
[Jawahir Al-Naimi and Muaz Kory/Al Jazeera]

Regardless of Jimoh working seven days every week from 7am till 11pm, his household is barely making ends meet and when he falls unwell or the bus breaks down, he should faucet into his meagre financial savings to get by.

Falilat, his spouse, used to make as much as 1,000 naira (about $2) a day going door to door promoting home-made ogi, fermented millet porridge, however recently she has not been feeling properly. Nothing too severe, they assume.

The monetary burden for now could be on Jimoh. That is why he’s on the highway a lot and has little time to spend together with his household. Offering for the youngsters is a continuing concern for the couple. “I attempt to not fear. I feel that is what made my spouse unwell. However generally it’s exhausting to sleep at evening,” Jimoh says.

When he can, he does chartered journeys which are usually fast, better-paying jobs. That’s when a buyer hires him as a driver and the car for a journey, typically to move items.

In the future he hopes to go overseas – “wherever however Nigeria” – to make a greater residing. He would miss his spouse, who he calls his finest good friend, and his youngsters terribly, however thinks he would have the ability to earn more money outdoors the nation and ship funds residence to supply his household with a greater future.

Over the course of a month, from September 20 till October 20, 2022, as a part of a collaborative venture, Jimoh tracked his household’s month-to-month bills with reporter Femke van Zeijl.

Listed below are the bills that examined his household’s funds essentially the most.

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