Uber, Bolt drivers to withdraw their services from today

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Some Uber and Bolt e-cab drivers in Lagos have asked the e-hailing companies to immediately increase fares being charged by the operators or they would withdraw their services from the roads on Monday, April 19, 2021.

The threat from the e-cab operators, under the aegis of Professional E-hailing Drivers and Private Owners Association (PEDPA), follows the non-review of its prices by the e-hailing companies despite unprecedented increases in the price of petrol, vehicle spare parts, food items and other essential commodities in the country.

This disclosure was made by the National President of PEDPA, Mr Idris Shonuga, at a news conference in Lagos, on Saturday, where he called for immediate upward review of e-cab fares to reflect the current economic reality in the country.

Shonuga, who pointed out that more than 95% of e-hailing transactions are consummated through Uber and Bolt platforms, said that the e-hailing companies have continued to maintain low fares and refused any revision in line with the current inflationary trend.

What the National President of PEDPA is saying

Shonuga in his statement said, “In a quest to work harmoniously at resolving some issues, the association wrote several letters to the companies which were not attended to, showing nonchalant attitude towards our plight.

Your companies have failed, refused and neglected to honour our request for a meeting to discuss issues beneficial to all e-hailing drivers in Nigeria. And to fashion a harmonious relationship that will benefit, dignify and improve the standard of living of e-hailing drivers, private car owners and the general standard of e-hailing business in the country.

Instead of fixing a new and reasonable fare in line with inflation, the companies have recklessly continued to maintain the low fare, thereby, impoverishing hard-working young Nigerians who are diligently and lawfully trying to make a decent living.’’

The e-cab operators are also asking for adequate welfare package for drivers and compensation to the families of those that lost their lives or are permanently disabled in the line of duty, pointing out that over 15 drivers had lost their lives, while some had been permanently disabled in accidents in the course of the service.

Shonuga, who also disclosed that over 20 other members of their association have also lost their lives through kidnapping or killed by ritualists without any compensation from the operators, said that the association was considering taking legal action to seek remedies against the e-hailing companies if their demands were not met.

What you should know

  • This is not the first time that e-cab operators of Uber and Bolt have threatened to down tools over disagreements with the e-hailing companies. It can be recalled that in August 2020, the drivers under the e-hailing platform for the 2 companies threatened to dump the ride-hailing services over unfavourable business practices.
  • They said that both app providers took unilateral decisions, fixed inequitable commissions for themselves, unhealthy trip fares and denied them the right to belong to a union.
  • The drivers also said that the providers blocked drivers at will without considering their hire-to-purchase status, showed no empathy to drivers in cases of emergency, loss of lives while on an active trip and many other lopsided unethical business practices.

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