Case Study: The Makavelian Transporter called Primero TSL

It featured in the Lagos roads like train that was built for the roads and not the rail in 2015 after being celebrated by the former Governor of Lagos, (HE) Akinwunmi Ambode.

It came with A-C chilling atmosphere like previous BRT licenced buses but did went further to implement a good maintenance culture with working quality controls. PRIMERO even promised 24-hour service in a bid to revive Lagos economy working round the clock.

Challenges emerged at some points just like every other firms. Drivers Union, Employees Strikes, Fuel supply anomalies and also some external issues like community hoodlums attacks due to several issues.

The tough times eventually arrived when the buses were ageing while passengers who had adjusted to accept it as their main transport carrier. Passengers had also had to groan reacting to different fare increases and also wait tirelessly for buses at various bus terminals due to shortage of supply. These are several other complaints were lingering for the management of Primero to go into the kitchen to come out with better meals to offer Lagosians.


It has been a welcome development that Primero TSL, the oldest surviving BRT player finally got acquainted with Marcopolo which amounts to a partial divorce with Youtong. The new Primero also went paperless, doing away with Paper ticketing. This was attained after 5 years of operations that started in November 2015, not as the first BRT Transport company but as a promising indigenous one with support from the Asian bus manufacturers.

This was made easier with the competition, Lagos Bus Services in operation but plying different routes. The presence of the competition in a vertical market provided an avenue for benchmarking which creates the quest for better service calls.

There are other concerns for the PRIMERO 2.0 Activation:

  1. The Youtong buses which are still operational still break down or give issues recently.
  2. With the new payment system being revamped without paper, it is still creating bottleneck with the Card loading system that is only done at the old ticketing booths.
  3. The Cowrie Payment App which was meant to be created to provide user experience platform for users or passengers to track previous trips, make payments and also provide feedback is not working after downloading it as it crashes anytime it’s launched.

There are various voids that are meant to be worked on to keep Primero sustainable as our institutions or companies are meant to be good reference cases for study for other countries looking up to Lagos and Nigeria as a learning point.

Aderibigbe AR


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