Fuel Hike: Bolt, Uber drivers shut down services in Lagos, Cross River, other states
Drivers in the car railing service sector have shut down their services in Lagos, Cross River and other states in the country due to the abrupt increase in price of fuel.
The drivers who embarked on a 72-hour strike starting from Wednesday, June 7 are demanding an increase in their commission as well as an increased rate for their fares amongst other things in a bid to meet up with the economic realities in the country.
According to reports, the drivers are lamenting that they have become slaves to the mobility app companies including Bolt and Uber.
One of the affected cities in the country, Calabar, the Cross River State capital, has remained one of the most adversely affected locations as it concerns terms and conditions of driving and earning compared to other places where the company is operating.
Engineer Mike Neji, Treasurer of the Amalgamated Union of App-Based Transport Workers of Nigeria (AUATWON), Cross River State Chapter, and Chairman of the Taskforce committee, described what the mobility app company is doing to drivers as unfair.
“Due to the increase in the price of fuel, we can no longer meet up, we want them to increase the fare to at least 1000 as a baseline, they should reduce the commission they get from the drivers because they are collecting about 35 per cent commission currently when you add other components of the charges they deduct,” he said.
“We are being charged for a lot of things, fuel has increased, engine oil has increased, car maintenance generally has increased, yet they are adding only 100 or thereabout to the fare which is not in any way commensurate.
“They are robbing us mercilessly, because at the end of the day is like we are working for them, in fact it’s modern slavery. From 189 and 205 we are now buying fuel for 510, yet your base is 700 from 600 which is only 100 naira, how do you think we can ever meet up?
“The Driver is not safe, the app is not well created, they need to have information on the riders we carry, they collect our cars, kill some of us, and they don’t have data of their riders, this must be upgraded.
“It is high time other stakeholders in the mobility app market come into Calabar, we need alternatives because we are supposed to be partners but the relationship we have with the company is like Masters-servant relationship.
“The strike is nationwide, if after 72hours we don’t hear anything from them, we will intensify efforts to make them leave Nigeria Market for good, as we speak, they are in 25 states and Calabar is one of the worst cities if not the worst in terms of fares.
“Drivers in places like Ebonyi, Benue earn more than us here in Calabar, they should at least let the baseline be like 1000 naira, do you know that they double tax us, in-app calls are even charged, connecting charges and so on, the matter must be well looked into, we are not slaves, he said.
Also, another driver, for Bolt who does not want his name mentioned told Neptune Prime that the app company has outrageously increased the fares.
According to him, a trip from Victoria Island, Lagos to Iponri Housing Estate in Surulere which should cost between N3,000 and N3,500 has doubled due to the fuel subsidy adding that the app company is yet to adjust the commission to figures commensurate with the increase in fares.
He lamented that due to the outrageous increase in fares customers are no longer requesting for rides since the increase in fares.