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Posted by on Friday May 9, 2014 at 12:58:18:

One of the most popular means of transportation in Nigeria is the Okada - A motorcycle used for commercial transportation.

For most people in Nigeria, especially in cities like Lagos, one of the things that they mostly spend money on is on transportation and if you don't drive a car all the time, you probably take an Okada(Motorcycle) from time to time.

You can follow these tips to reduce your Okada bill
1. Pre-agree on the Price: Since transport fares on Okada are not regulated, never take a ride if you didn't agree on the price in advance - It could cause problems. First tell the Okada rider where you want to go and then ask him how much it will cost.

2. Negotiate on the price: Don't always agree on the first price mentioned by the rider. Try to beat it down a little and let it be a reasonable amount. Some can even carry you for ridiculously low price rather than driving on the road without a passenger.

3. Go from park to park: A smart way to save money when taking an Okada ride is by simply taking one from one park to another. Asking them to take you to a particular address, home, office or bank is more likely going to cost you more money. They feel more comfortable going to their parks and so will charge you less for it.

4. Call only the ones going your own way: If you are used to calling Okada riders while they are not parked and on the road, they are more likely to charge you higher if they were initially not going in the same direction as you are. Look for ones going the same way as you are and you are more likely going to reduce your fare.

5. Look for younger drivers: If you are looking to save money when taking an Okada, don't go for those riders that look like family men. Older drivers tend to charge more since they are more likely to be married and have higher financial needs for their wives and kids. They are more likely to charge you more than the young ones who are just enjoying their work.

6. Patronize riders that are more eager to offer a service: For instance, in Lagos, the Hausa drivers are the cheapest ones to patronize while the Yorubas are the most expensive. You'd find that some of them would be calling on you or practically begging for your patronage while others wouldn't even bother. In Lagos, I've noticed that the Hausa and Niger riders tend to be more eager to work than the indigents. However, try to ensure they understand some English so it doesn't end up arguing with them.

7. Be familiar with the Okada riders: If you normally take a particular route regularly, try to get familiar with them and you would get it cheaper from time to time or at least get a fixed price for your trips. You can get familiar with them by maybe saying "How far? How you day?" once in a while.

8. Stay loyal: You should try taking a ride with an Okada rider you are used to consistently as this will help keep you in his good books. He would not usually charge you an unusually high fare as long as you keep returning to him. Stay loyal and enjoy loyalty benefits.

9. Speak Nigerian pidgin English: Yes, speaking a bit of pidgin English can help reduce the price you pay for taking an Okada trip. If you start by speaking good English, the Okada riders would see you as rich and educated and would want to charge you more. Since there is no fixed price on Okada transport, it's better to just try to speak in a language most of them understand so they'll play along with you easily.

10. Negotiate your fare based on the transportation time involved: Okada riders tend to consciously or unconsciously charge their customers based on how much time they are going to spend when taking them to their destination. It would be a bit higher than what it would cost you when taking a commercial bus. You can estimate this in advance so that it helps your negotiation. A 3 mins ride can cost about N50 in Lagos.

Well, if you can't do any of these 10 things to reduce the money you pay for taking an Okada ride, you might as well avoid patronizing them and just take a bus or tricycle to your destination.

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