Informal Self-Employment and Poverty Alleviation: Empirical Evidence from Motorcycle Taxi Riders in Nigeria

  •  Isaiah Ogunrinola    


This study examines the role of an urban informal transport sub-sector; the motorcycle taxis (popularly called ‘okada’), towards the provision of self-employment and income-generating opportunities for many of the urban unemployed in South West Nigeria. The data for the study was generated from a survey of 777 randomly selected auto cycle riders in two cities in Nigeria and the SPSS software aided data analyses. In addition to the descriptive analyses, two econometric models were specified and estimated using the OLS technique. The study revealed that the subsector is a high employer of young school leavers in the accident-prone job of okada riding. Earnings analyses show that 86% of the operators earn above the minimum wage level while human capital variables explain earnings distribution. Implications of the findings of the study point to the need for a more rigorous regulation of the sector to promote safety of operators and passengers.

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