Uber redefining commercial Transportation in Nigeria

By Ayomide Oriade

Advancement in technology is leading a global movement in transportation and the initiative is being driven by Uber in Nigeria. Those who had doubts about the possibility of such initiative working in Nigeria must now be having a rethink.

After launching in Nigeria in 2014, Uber is not only leading a movement, but also redefining the transportation landscape by connecting commuters with drivers via internet applications.

With presence in Lagos and Abuja, the Uber service is gaining more patronage and also having positive impact on the economy. General Manager, Uber Nigeria, Ebi Atawodi said the initiative gained 100 percent in its first six months. It was reported late December that Uber has recorded over two billion rides globally with rides in Lagos and Abuja improving significantly.

For the brand owners, the aim was to inspire job creation, financial opportunity, less congestion, safety, price transparency and innovation into these two major cities, while also making profit. And within a period of two years, the brand has delivered remarkably on its purpose. As regards price transparency, the app calculates the price according to distance and time.

Also, the Uber service has been a source of opportunity for some unemployed graduates. One of the beauty of the Uber technology is that it offers full-time and part-time driving jobs for independent drivers and provides the flexibility to work as much or as little as they want. Simply put, they are their own boss. Marketing Edge gathered that some Uber drivers make as much as N150, 000 a month excluding fuel expenses. This is a reasonable take home considering the economic realities of the country.

The safety standard requirement for drivers and vehicles is also helping to make streets safer from drunk driving. The drivers are well screened and their cars are required to meet outlined standards before being included on the platform.

Likewise, the initiative provides job opportunities for Driver Operations Managers. These persons work with data to monitor driver behaviour and ensure efficiency through asset utilisation, product improvement and supply-chain management. This role is ultimately responsible for making sure there are drivers on the road, where and when they are needed.

Apart from the job creation and financial opportunities, Uber is gradually fostering less congestion of cars on Lagos streets. Individuals with cars can drop their keys at home and get same or better comfort in Uber cars.

According to Uber, the platform is open for more drivers as the company seek to expand its reach and services. Lagos and Abuja have been good test grounds. Uber is fast positioning itself as the next generation taxi service in Nigeria. As Uber gains more traction, the conventional Taxi Drivers will surely need to up their game. Their monopoly has been eroded and competition will surely suit the consumers.


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