Ride-hailing drivers in Nigeria have asked App-Based Transport companies including Uber, Bolt, Lagride, Indriver, and others to urgently review their prices upward by 200% and set minimum trip fares at N2,000.
Speaking on Friday under the aegis of the Amalgamated Union of App-Based Transport Workers of Nigeria (AUATWON), the drivers expressed concerns over the ripple effect of the new fuel price on their members. National President of the union, Mr. Adedamola Adeniran, in a statement, said the new fuel price was causing hardship on their members’ earnings and patronages, which is why a 200% price increase is necessary across the platforms.
According to Adediran, app-based drivers lacked the capacity to increase the fare by themselves, unlike independent cab drivers, branded taxi drivers, bus drivers, and others. He also urged the companies not to deactivate any of the drivers as a result of the fuel subsidy removal.
The drivers are, however, also making a case for the riders who will bear the brunt of the increment as they asked the ride-hailing companies to introduce a 5% subsidy to cushion the effect of the increase on the riders.
Reduction in Commission
Aside from the increase in price, the drivers are also demanding a reduction in the commission being charged by Bolt, Uber, and others. Adeniran in the statement said:
- “The app companies should immediately set their commission at 10% flat or reduce their commission by 50% without any hidden charges, owing to homogeneous commission charges that had made our business unprofitable.
- “We demand that app companies subsidise trip fare for the rider by at least, 5% to cushion the effect of the increase for the rider, using the gain from homogeneous commission reserved,” he said.
Similarly, Chairman, Media and Publicity Committee of the union, Mr Jossy Olawale, appealed to the app companies to immediately respond and act on the union’s demands.
- “We will also like to encourage our members to go about their peaceful business and adopt every lawful and profitable means to carrying out their businesses until further directive by the union.”
After the May 29 inauguration day declaration by President Bola Tinubu that the fuel subsidy was gone, several filling stations increased their prices. With price hikes and long queues at the gas stations, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) on Wednesday announced price adjustments to reflect the market price in the absence of government subsidy. And with that, fuel has been selling at between N448 to N550 per liter across the country. While the impact of this is expected to be felt across sectors of the economy, the transportation sector has been the first, as it leads to an instant jump in transport fares.