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Nigeria’s Revenue From Train Transport Surges To N926.7 Million iIn Q1 2021

The total revenue made by the train transport body, Nigerian railway corporation in the first quarter of 2021 surged by 33% to stand at N926.72 million compared to N698.4 million recorded in Q1 2020.

This is contained in the recently released railway transport report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Revenue generated in the review period also represents a 92% increase compared to N481.57 million recorded in the previous quarter (Q4 2020).


  • Revenue generated from passengers stood at N892.47 million in Q1 2021, a 39.3% increase compared to N640.52 million recorded in Q1 2020.
  • The number of passengers that made use of train as a means of transportation in the period reduced by 34.4% to stand at 424,460 compared to 647,055 recorded in the corresponding period of 2020.
  • The number of passengers however increased by 214.8% compared to 134,817 recorded in the previous quarter.
  • The volume of goods transported stood at 10,511 tonnes, representing a 43.1% year-on-year decline compared to 18,484 tonnes conveyed in the corresponding quarter of 2020.

The data revealed that revenue generated in the period increased despite the reduction in the number of passengers that boarded and the volume of goods transported by train. This is a reflection of the surge in the prices of goods and services in the country over the past two years.

According to the NBS, Nigeria’s inflation rate galloped to 18.17% in March 2021 from 15.75% rate recorded in December 2020, which indicates a 2.4% points increase in the first quarter of 2021. The increase in the inflation rate was largely influenced by a similar surge in core inflation from 11.37% to 12.67%.

A cursory look at the data revealed that the Nigerian Railway Corporation generated N5.8 billion between January 2019 and March 2021, recording the highest quarterly income in Q1 2021.

The increase can be largely attributed to the increase in the fare per trip, considering the year-on-year decline in the number of passengers conveyed through train in Q1 2021. Notably, the number of passengers reduced from 647,055 in Q1 2020 to 424,460 in the review quarter.

Also, the volume of goods/cargos transported by train, reduced from 18,484 tonnes to 10,511 tonnes. Meanwhile, revenue from passengers spiked by 39.3% while revenue from cargos dipped by 50.3% in the period under review.

What this means

Considering the drop in the number of passengers, the revenue increase can be attributed to increased fare per trip. Increased activities along the Lagos-Ibadan rail corridor, which connects two of the most economically active cities in the western part of Nigeria, could have also contributed to higher revenues.

It is worthy of note that the NRC recently announced that it would soon add Sunday trips on the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail services to satisfy customers.