Ride-hailing drivers in Nigeria have united under the banner of the Amalgamated Union of App-Based Transport Workers of Nigeria (AUATWON) to call for urgent price revisions by app-based transport companies such as Uber, Bolt, Lagride, Indriver, and others. The drivers are requesting a significant increase of 200% in prices and the establishment of a minimum trip fare of N2,000.
Expressing their concerns about the ripple effects of the recent fuel price hike on their earnings and patronage, the drivers emphasized the need for a substantial price adjustment across all platforms. Mr. Adedamola Adeniran, the National President of the union, stated that app-based drivers lack the ability to independently raise fares compared to their counterparts, such as independent cab drivers, branded taxi drivers, and bus drivers. Adeniran also urged the companies not to deactivate any drivers due to the removal of fuel subsidies.
However, the drivers are also considering the impact on riders and have proposed that the ride-hailing companies introduce a 5% subsidy to alleviate the burden of the fare increase for passengers.
In addition to the price hike, the drivers are demanding a reduction in the commission charged by app-based companies like Bolt and Uber. Adeniran stressed the need for these companies to either immediately set their commission at a flat rate of 10% or reduce their commission by 50% without hidden charges. He argued that the current commission structure has rendered their businesses unprofitable.
The Chairman of the Media and Publicity Committee of the union, Mr. Jossy Olawale, appealed to the app companies to promptly respond to and address the union’s demands. He encouraged members to continue their peaceful operations and explore lawful and profitable means to conduct their business until further directives from the union.
Following President Bola Tinubu’s announcement on May 29 that the fuel subsidy was removed, several filling stations raised their prices. The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) later announced price adjustments to align with market prices in the absence of government subsidies. Consequently, fuel prices have surged, ranging from N448 to N550 per liter across the country. While the impact of these price increases is expected to affect various sectors of the economy, the transportation sector is the first to experience an immediate surge in transport fares.
The ride-hailing drivers’ plea for price revisions and subsidies reflects their concerns about the financial hardships caused by the fuel price hike and their aim to ensure fair compensation and sustained operations in the face of economic challenges.