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Are Nigerians ready for public buses with USB ports?

January 27, 2017 · 3 min read
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The inefficiency of the power sector in Nigeria is one of the biggest problems we have always had as a nation; many foreign investors have ditched Nigeria due to this. Having constant power for 3 hours straight arouses suspicions in Nigerians because they know it’s unusual and they would pay for it with more hours of blackout.

There’s a reason the first words of a typical Nigerian baby are “up NEPA”. Since smartphones became a thing in Nigeria, the power issues have driven many Nigerians to invest in spare batteries and power banks to keep their phones charged especially when on the go.

Imagine sitting in Lagos traffic on your way back after a long day at work, in a public bus equipped with several USB ports. Or imagine you’re travelling from Benin to Abuja without having to take turns with other passengers to use the driver’s car charger. If you were imagining these scenarios in a Danfo, please stop! We aren’t here to play.

Anyway, public buses with USB ports are a thing. They already exist in New York City and London. Also, Singapore has run trials on wall mounted chargers in public buses and Tokyo is doing the same.

Some airplanes and cars already come with this feature so it was only a matter of time before they started making buses with charging ports.

Photo: IT Media

Someday, buses like this would be imported into Nigeria (or maybe we’ll make our very own).

The drama

So let’s keep imagining these kinds of buses exist already in Nigeria and that maybe Lagbuses and BRTs have USB ports. God forbid if there isn’t one USB port per seat, that’ll be the beginning of the many problems that’ll come from this. You would see grown men and women fighting over “who got there first”, “whose turn it is” and plenty grammar in between.

We wouldn’t blame anyone though, there’ll be no light at home as usual. So we’re going to imagine it wouldn’t have to get to that because these our buses would come with one USB port per seat.

So we can charge our phones while we seat in traffic. Knowing the way things work in Nigeria, within the first few months of operation, some of the ports would have started “shaking” because some busybodies wouldn’t calm down when they connect and disconnect their phones. Some ports would stop working, bringing us back to people fighting, the drama!

Many people would lose their phones when these our buses arrive. We have had several cases of people forgetting their phones in public buses. I think with this, the number of such cases would increase. So forgetful people have to set aside a budget that covers transportation and calls to places like Ikorodu and Iyana Ipaja because that’s where most phones people forget in buses end up (I wonder why). And there will be those that’ll get taken past their bus stops because they are enjoying charging their phones so much that they get carried away.

More people would carry their USB cords around but as expected the most frequently asked question (FAQ) in public buses would be “excuse me, do you have a spare USB cord?”

As much as this innovation would be very welcome in Nigeria considering our power situation, we would have to wait for a while before they get to us as even developed countries like the USA only have such buses in one city.

I know more drama scenes are playing in your heads already. Please do share, drop a comment below.

Photo Credit: Bankole Oluwafemi Flickr via Compfight cc

Titilola Oludimu

Titilola Oludimu

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I'm always open to new experiences.

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