The business I am about to introduce to you, especially for those interested, who are currently at a job, or contract, or not but can raise funds either alone or in conjunction with a friend or friends, especially in Lagos, or the South-West region of Nigeria (because I am familiar with that terrain), and indeed other parts of Nigeria (because I suppose there’d be little or no difference in their operation), is the TRICYCLE BUSINESS, popularly called “KÈKÉ” in local parlance.


Tricycles are filling the huge gaps that presently exist in Nigeria’s road transportation sector. They were and are still a very popular mode of transportation in India and some South-East Asian countries. It was introduced into Nigeria by General Buba Marwa while a colonel, and military administrator of Lagos State during General Sani Abacha’s military dictatorship. It was then called Keke-Marwa, before it became Keke-NAPEP, used as means of intervention in the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) during the President Olusegun Obasanjo civilian regime headed by one Dr. Magnus Kpakol. With the ban on Mopeds popularly called “Okada” in most states of the federation, the Keke has grown to make inroads even in the vacuum thus created.

The going rate of the tricycles currently vary from between =N=390,000 ($2,335) and =N=420,000 ($2,514) from the BAJAJ make to the top in the series of the PIAGGIO, TVS range. The busines model is such that the owner gives it away at HIRE-PURCHASE to a driver/operator who must deliver returns atleast weekly (depending on your arrangement). Many of the drivers prefer the top range which goes for about =N=420,000 because it has a longer “working life” which allows the drivers use them for a considerable time after fulfilling the remittances included in the terms of agreement between the owner and the driver/operator.

Besides the cost of procuring the tricycle, other costs to be incurred include the cost of REGISTRATION, which is paid to the chairman of the route the tricycle will be plying. The cost of this ranges from =N=25,000 to =N=30,000 ($149 – $179) depending on the area, and most of these “chairmen” will readily agree to installmental payment of the registration fee, usually in two tranches.
An additional cost is that of VEHICLE NUMBER PLATE, which goes for about =N=20,000 ($119), which it appears Lagos State isn’t giving out for now in a bid to curb the number of tricycles on Lagos roads. This is however circumvented either by getting the number plates from neighbouring states like Ogun, for about the same price or alternatively have the driver “sort” traffic police, LASTMA (Lagos State Traffic Management Agency), VIO (Vehicle Inspection Organization) officials about =N=1000 ($6) daily for “protection”, till Lagos State number plates become available or perpetually.

In all, the total expenses to be incurred in starting this business will be between =N=435,000 to =N=470,000 ($2,604 – $2,814) or thereabouts.

Depending on the area in Lagos, for instance where you want to run the business, or the route you want the driver/operator to ply, the projected revenue is between =N=720,000 ($4,311) and =N=750,000 ($4,491) with your driver/operator delivering or remiting between =N=12,000 ($72) and =N=15,000 ($89) weekly depending on how motivated (s)he is and the willingness to without delay own the tricycle. The terms and conditions are usually captured in the agreement between the LESSEE and the LESSOR.

The advantages in this business are far too numerous to mention, while the risks are few and far between, and one can easily deduce them from all I have outlined in the course of describing the business.

It’s important to note that this kind of business cannot exactly be an end within itself, but rather a means to an end, as it allows those employed to live on the proceeds (for the prudent) while saving ones’ salary for investment in same or other more capital intensive business.

I shall stop here for now!




    1. I haven’t been to Ghana before so I’ll infer from your comment that tricycles aren’t part of your modes of transportation over there.

      However, you may use the model for the types that exists in your country, or you may try to invest in the Nigerian market.


  1. This biz venture is definitely da bomb. The risk here is limited since it’s hire purchase whereby the driver has no choice than to deliver consistently in order to become an owner of biz in due time.

    Am interested for sure but unfortunately, am presently into a building project in my v’reg which will still take some time to be through. Am also worried about raising a small bungalow in the outskirt of Lagos/Ogun to curb the unending excessive demands by Lagos landlords.

    I’ve easy access to borrow up to 2million Naira from my bank but that’s the last thing I’ll ever do because banks in Nig and even abroad are too exploitative and big liers. Like in my own bank, they claim you pay back @ 19-21% interest rate but in reality, it’s about 50%. Because for instance, those who borrowed N1million ended up paying back about N1.5 million. Now, none of my colleagues go near the bank or any other because they are all the same.

    Life really isn’t easy in Nig and Lasgidi.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so very right about banks in Nigeria, the only ones who can benefit from their magnanimity are the already super rich, who can borrow humonguous amounts then “blow it”, while their cronies inside the bank declare their debts as “bad”.

      The advantage with this business is, once you start, you can prudently use the proceeds to meet everyday needs while you invest the bulk of your salary in other capital intensive ventures.


  2. You are very correct. One then need to reweigh his scale of preference. It’s quite a difficult choice to decide on though. For instance, choosing between first becoming a landlord to avert exorbitant Lag house rents or first investing in a biz or yet again, first establishing madam of the house. Hmmmmmmmnn!


    1. Again, you have touched on very Germaine issues and one cannot say, one is more important than the other.

      I would say, that in writing about this, I have only highlighted an option amongst many paths that can be exploited towards the dream life that we all aspire to.


  3. Very nice and interesting piece.
    Nothing can be compared with investments!
    And investing in Keke biz is just one good option among many!!
    Once again, kudos to you Mr Madu!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right Ide, “Nothing can be compared with investments”, in any legitimate business at all, especially while one keeps his/her nine-to-fives, despite the challenges that comes with the territory as well as the economic climate.

      Money in the bank will be spent eventually, but money invested will multiply and continue to yield seed beyond the scope of that initial investments in more ways than one can physically and monetarily fathom.

      Thank you for looking in.


  4. Hello Mr. madukovich,

    This is a well written introductory blog about the Bajaj 3 wheeler. I am a Bajaj 3 wheeler spare parts manufacturer from Bangladesh. I would like to explore the market there in Nigeria. I think talking to you for few moments would be helpful for me. Can i contact you via skype?

    Thanks in advance.


    1. I would love to, unfortunately network here is not that strong to carry uninterrupted skype chat, for that reason I dropped the idea.

      I am however available on other platforms of communication to address any concerns or issues you’d like to bring up with me.


    1. Why not? Mostly, the peak periods are in the mornings and evenings, so you may go about your other businesses and concerns in the afternoon, and drive keke during the peak periods.


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