Poor Uber and Bolt. The news that the Professional E-Hailing Drivers and Private Owners Association (PEDPA) in Lagos has decided to adopt two indigenous ecosystems should remind them that its drivers are reading what their counterparts in London and San Francisco are doing: “these indigenous App companies would work with the templates and provide drivers with a good welfare package for riders’ satisfaction. This will enable the union to protect the collective interests of the drivers as decisions can now be jointly taken and approved before it is binding on both parties.” Simply, if you treat Londoners fine and you come to Lagos, and do nothing amazing, you may experience a little shock.
Shonuga said that both drivers and riders had to deal with the shortcomings in the e-hailing industry without any mutual written agreement between the owners of the cars and the foreign app companies.
He said, “As against the 20 per cent commission by the team giant App companies, Active Ride is charging 15 per cent commission on each trip. And out of the 15 per cent, five per cent is dropped into the driver’s cooperative wallet and can be accessed for a quick fix.
“This means that with the 10 per cent commission taken by Active Ride, drivers can now earn more and even save. They can now have a good maintenance routine which in turn translate to better customer service delivery.’’
Yet, these drivers will realize one thing soon: running a ride-hailing business is not really about apps. The marginal cost of this business is offline. So, installing new apps without the support system may not change much. Uber is shipping money to buy new cars in Nigeria, and hand them over to drivers. If you leave the ride-hailing pioneer, and those cars come along, new drivers will emerge. Now, at the end, the winner will be the platform chosen by the riders.
With all respect here, riding Uber is a commoditized job. If Uber offers hire purchase and a path to car ownership, some bank tellers will resign and join in Lagos. So, these drivers should not think that everything ends on uninstalling and installing new apps. They have to look at the whole playbook and make sure they know where they are getting to.
The reason why London and San Francisco drivers were successful in their requests was due to one thing: their governments led the charge against Uber. In Nigeria, a blue bird is distracting the government now, and these drivers may not get what they expect. Nonetheless, I wish them good luck as they push for their rights. The use of indigenous companies makes it even amazing.---
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