E-hailing cab operators laments poor internet connectivity

By Oghale Mafuru

The e-hailing business is having its own share of the economic challenges exacerbate by the naira redesign and Cashless policy of the Federal Government as operators are unable to conclude payment transactions electronically.

Since the implementation of the policy, e-payment has risen astronomically following limited cash in circulation. This has increased the number of transactions done electronically which many say has exerted much pressure on the technological infrastructures of commercial banks, resulting to massive failed transactions, delays and interruptions.

Speaking to MARKETING EDGE, the taxi operators who revealed that over the last six weeks, they received more requests for rides than before, decried the poor internet services to facilitate payments as riders prefer to pay for the service through their bank apps or transfers.

Oladapo Oladimeji, an operator with one of the leading e-hailing companies in Lagos stated that for weeks, he had encountered several disruptions and delay when receiving payment transfers from customers.

“Many of my customers pay me through their bank apps but I usually don’t get the credit alerts. Even when I check my mobile app to confirm, the money is still not reflecting there. Many times, the customer shows me proof of successful transfer. It is affecting us badly”.

Christopher Godwin, another operator who explained that he waited for days to confirm payments done by customers said the failed transactions that has accompanied the cashless policy has increased fears, anxiety and mistrust for riders.

“The network challenge is a big problem to us. Two days ago, all my passengers paid me by making transfer but up till now, I have not seen alert. When you go to the bank, they will delay you in long queues. I had to stop to continue the following day. Even now, I am still experiencing some slight hitch. Some transactions will go, others will not” he said

“We are trying to cope but it has not been easy. The banks have to do something fast. It is affecting our business. Even the Fintech apps we were relying on is now having some delays but I prefer it because you can immediately confirm if you receive the money or not” Solomon Akintunde said.

The cash scarcity which was occasioned by Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN’s decision to phase out the old naira notes has been blamed for the challenges experienced during e-transactions. However, in the early hours of today, the the financial regulator officially ordered commercial banks to comply with the court verdict.

The Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin, disclosed the latest development in a statement titled ‘Old N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes remain legal tender – CBN’

The statement read, “In compliance with the established tradition of obedience to court orders and sustenance of the rule of law principle that characterised the government of President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and by extension, the operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria, as a regulator, Deposit Money Banks operating in Nigeria have been directed to comply with the Supreme Court ruling of March 3, 2023.

“Accordingly, the CBN met with the Bankers’ Committee and has directed that the old N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till December 31, 2023. Consequently, all concerned are directed to conform accordingly” he said.


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