• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Drivers on Uber, Bolt, others demand fare increase from operators on subsidy removal

Moove moves to subsidise fuel costs for drivers

Drivers on e-ride hailing apps under the aegis of ‘Amalgamated Union of App-Based Transport Workers of Nigeria’ (AUATWON) have demanded a fare increase from ride-hailing companies such as Uber, Bolt, and others following the removal of fuel subsidies.

The union’s national administrative council expressed concern over the significant rise in fuel prices and its detrimental impact on the earnings and profitability of its members.

AUATWON called for a 200 percent upward review of prices, a reduction in commissions, and a subsidy for riders to alleviate the effects of the subsidy removal. The union urges the ride-hailing companies to respond promptly to their demands as pressure from app-based transport workers mounts.

During an emergency meeting held by the national administrative council of AUATWON on Thursday, led by Damola Adeniran, the union expressed empathy and solidarity with app-based transport workers across Nigeria who are grappling with the consequences of the removal of fuel subsidies.

Adniran noted that the substantial increase in the prices of vulcanizers, motor spare parts, and labour costs, among others, led to a reduction in members’ profitability by over 300 percent. Meanwhile, ride-hailing companies continue to charge commissions ranging from 20-25 percent, leaving hardworking workers in distress.

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“Due to the lack of control over transportation prices offered to passengers, unlike independent cab drivers, branded taxi drivers, and bus drivers, the fuel price in different states across Nigeria has significantly impacted app-based transport workers,” Adeniran said.

“Moreover, there has been an alarming 200 percent increase in the prices of vulcanizers, motor spare parts, and labour costs. Consequently, the profitability of AUATWON members has been severely diminished by more than 300 percent, while the ride-hailing companies continue to charge between 20-25 percent commission leaving the hardworking workers in pain.”

In light of these challenges, the council of AUATWON said it has resolved to demand from Ride-hailing companies operating in Nigeria, including Uber, Bolt, Lagride, Indriver, Drup, and others an immediate review of prices upward by 200 percent and set a minimum trip fare at N2,000.

The association said: “All app companies should immediately set their commission at a flat rate of 10 percent or reduce their commission by 50 percent without any hidden charges, considering the uniform commission charges that have rendered their business unprofitable.

“AUATWON demands that app companies subsidize trip fares for riders by at least 5 percent using the gains from the uniform commission.”

The union insists that no app companies deactivate any of their drivers as a result of the fuel subsidy removal or for carrying out their lawful business unless they fail to act on the union’s various demands.

Jossy Olawale, chairman of the media and publicity committee, called on the app companies to respond promptly and address the union’s concerns, especially as the pressure from app-based transport workers on the streets continues to escalate.