Knowing how to start your delivery business in Nigeria is essential in these days where traffic only gets worse as roads are not improving, people are purchasing more vehicles, there is only one solution. In a country where a major city has over 2 million cars motoring its limited roads, one cannot but consider this other alternative; Delivery Bikes or Okada, as it is locally called.

It is the one of the few means of road transportation that is almost immune to traffic congestion in Nigeria. It is narrow enough to weave in between cars but wide enough to carry medium-sized goods.

It is without a doubt, the number 1 go to goods delivery choice for business owners. What many do not know is that you can’t just buy an Okada and put it on the road for business. There are certain registrations to be made, there are certain licenses to be obtained . When buying the delivery bikes​, you need to pay necessary licence fees, and take out all necessary insurance covers before commencing your logistics business with it. 


● Get a license for the motorcycle​: This can be done at the nearest vehicle licensing office close to you. If you are buying a brand-new motorcycle (not second-hand), you can actually have this done through the motorcycle dealer. 

Practical Tip: Most motorcycle dealers, motorcycle spare part and kit sellers in Lagos State can be found at Oyingbo Market. We have a reliable source if you need to purchase one.

● Register your motorcycle with the state and local government​; You can do both your state and local government registrations at any Lagos State local government office. There are two types of registrations – interstate and intrastate. As a business in Lagos who does deliveries, you are likely to do deliveries to border cities which are technically in neighbouring states like Ogun State but are assumed to be Lagos. E.G. Agbara, Alagbado etc. For this reason, it is advisable to spend a few extra cash to do both interstate and intrastate registrations. If you do not do an intrastate registration and your motorcycle crosses into one of these border cities, you may be made to pay a fine or your motorcycle impounded. Very importantly, be sure to get the local government sticker of the local government where your business is situated, especially if you did your registration in another local government.

● Register with LASAA: If your motorcycle will be branded, register with the Lagos State Advertising Agency (LASAA). This can also be done at any local government office.

● Ensure your dispatch rider has a rider’s card​: This is different from a driver’s license and can be obtained from any of the Lagos State Motor Vehicle Administration  Agency (MVAA) regional offices

● Pay for insurance​: This is usually overlooked, but shouldn’t be, especially because road accidents involving motorcycles are very common in Lagos, plus it is a compulsory requirement. You wouldn’t want to bear the full financial burden of repairs and/or hospital bills, if in an accident, would you?

● Renew regularly and punctually: ​Most of the registrations are valid for 6months to a year. Renew on time.

Practical Tip – Create recurring calendar prompts as reminders

Now, if you want to run a delivery business or courier service with your motorcycle, it is a totally different ball game. In addition to registering each motorcycle in your fleet, your courier company has to be registered with the Federal Ministry of Communication and Technology and registration is done with Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST). Failure to go through due process of registration can lead to arrest and impounding of the motorcycle. It’s that serious.

  • The following information are required to be forwarded along with your letter of application for a courier service license to NIPOST:

(i) Certified copy of Certificate of Incorporation;

(ii) Memorandum/Articles of Association

(iii) Company’s Tax Clearance for the last three years (originals to be sighted);

(iv) Leasehold Certificate or Tenancy Agreement in respect of the company’s registered office;

(v) Evidence or information to show capacity to operate courier service including but not limited to indemnity insurance policy of N500,000, capital base of N2,000,000 or a bond of that value.

(vi) Evidence of payment of now refundable application fee as may be prescribed from time to time, currently N2,000,000;

(vii) Names, qualifications and addresses including telephone and/or fax numbers of all Directors of the company.

(viii) Samples of waybills, labels, bags, tags envelopes, receipts registered trade mark (if any) and other documents that may be required.

(ix) Partnership, merger, alliance (or such other arrangements) agreements (if any).

(x) Such other information or evidence that may assist the minister in forming a decision or such other information or evidence as he may specify from time to time.

Operating a courier company without being duly licensed is illegal and your business may be shut down. 

  • You need a reliable rider: The toughest part on how to start your delivery business in Nigeria is recruiting reliable and trustworthy riders. This is essential to having your business build trust and in turn prosper.

For more inquiry on how to start your delivery business in Nigeria, do read other articles on this site or call us on 09010844425 today.

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