Mrs. Rose Onuoha is a 48 years old widow, a mother of three children and sells Okpa (a local bean cake) at Life Camp junction, Kado Biko, a suburb in Abuja.

Rose says life has been very challenging since the death of her husband some few years ago. She has to feed and support her children all by herself and that is not the only problem Rose has to contend with, getting her wares to buyers proves to be a daily challenge because transporting herself and her wares around Abuja city is not an easy task.

“It has been very difficult getting transportion. I wake up every day at about 1.00am to start cooking the beans, which we use in making the Okpa and at 4.00am I am ready to take the Okpa to where I sell them. I have to leave by this time otherwise any time after 5.00am; I may not see a vehicle to convey me because I carry a lot of load and also to catch potential buyers who are going to work. I usually go by bus or sometimes with a taxi”

According to Rose, the distance from her house to the junction where she sells her Okpa is about 5 kilometres. Most times, she finds it difficult to transport herself and her wares. She says, “I have to wait for hours and sometimes more than an hour before vehicles will start to arrive and most challenging is that, some drivers and bus conductors especially the big buses refuse to carry me because of my load. When they do, they will charge me extra money. I have no choice most times so I pay because if I stay too long at the bus stop, the bigger {higher} the charges will become as day begins to break”.

Rose said her daily routine has resulted in some health challenges such as insomnia and constant body pains, according to her “this is the price I have to pay to care for my family”.

What would gender responsive transport cost in Abuja?To reduce over-crowding ActionAid Nigeria estimates there would need to be an additional 600 buses based on routes in Abuja. The costs of purchasing these additional 600 buses is US$54 million, based on the cost of one 53 seat bus at approximately US$90,000 (not including operational costs).  According to a staff member from the FCT Transport Secretariat, to improve the bus terminal in Nyanya and make it a permanent structure it would cost US$15 million.

Nigeria’s government forfeits US$2.9 billion of revenue every year by giving out tax incentives to foreign companies. 600 more buses are needed to meet demand in Abuja, which would cost a fraction of the amount, at US$54 million.