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!