So I was listening to the radio one morning on 90.1 FM and the chairman Abuja colored taxi drivers was complaining about the challenges they face because of unregistered taxis. Then he mentioned Uber being an unregistered company. Saying Uber drivers are unregistered and could be criminals.
According to him, they (Abuja colored taxis) have the data of all their taxis and drivers and no crime can be committed that won’t be traced (hence the Uber reference). He complained about Uber taking their customers (money) he totally forgot that Uber has the data of every single driver, their cars are preferred and only operate in certain areas not all round Abuja. Clearly he missed a point which is that there is a gap Uber is not filling that they the registered licensed government taxis can fill.
Even though NURTW has shown Hooliganism and citizens have remarked they should Be Banned, what is the future of NURTW if they really want to compete with the current e-Hailing trends, such as those of Uber?
Recall that the National Union of Road Transport Workers is an independent Nigerian trade union that serves the interests of transport workers in the road transport sector, by calling for collective obtaining and pushing for social stability for all workers in the transport sector as defined in its constitution.
Their association should just create their own app, they already have more coverage (all round Abuja), they already have the data of drivers and owners. This is what organizations in Nigeria fail to see, they would rather do things the old way.
They have more reach than Uber, which is that their cars can go to satellite towns. All that is needed here is just an internet platform and a lot government support, which will be given because the government right now is forward thinking + government ads, who do you think the government would rather pick – One Oyinbo (foreign) company or their own indigenous NURTW?
You guessed right, NURTW! As Nigerians we need to step up and start having creative solutions. NURTW can also learn from other countries that have rival companies giving Uber a run for their money.
For example in Saudi Arabia, Uber is facing stiff competition from other ride sharing company called Careem. Careem is a vehicle for hire company based in Dubai, with operations in over 100 cities in 14 countries in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. The company was valued at over $2 billion as of 2018. It is a subsidiary of Uber, with an independent brand and separate operations.
Other rivals around the world are Bolt (Africa and Europe), Ola (India), Lyft (US), Waymo (Google Self
Driving cars, US), Didi Chuxing (Asia) and Grab (South Asia). Registered operators (recognized by the government) should follow suit. Instead of calling for a nationwide ban of Uber, NURTW can adapt this same
platform to include buses. This way they just moved from regular driver and conductor to owners of buses. Making profits in the process. That’s how we need to look at advancement. It’s the same business but with a little touch of technology.
We should learn to stop fighting technology and start adapting it to our current business model. The National Union of Road Transport Workers is an independent Nigerian trade union that serves the interests of transport workers in the road transport sector, by calling for collective obtaining and pushing for social stability for all workers in the transport sector as defined in its constitution. Are acting with the right direction as the ever evolving technology fused business model grows? That’s the big question!
Reference Credit: Ebuka Raphel