It’s precisely over 4 years ago, that Transportation Network Company, Uber launched its operation in Nigeria. July 23rd, 2014 Uber in Nigeria is currently doing well, especially in Lagos and Uber Abuja.
Uber is the technology company that connects riders with drivers through a smartphone application. This is an alternative to conventional, urban transportation, especially in Lagos. So far, the introduction of the service to the Nigerian market has created a positive impact in the job market Potential drivers need to have a driver institute card and commercial insurance before they are allowed to drive in the Uber system.
There is also Taxify which is an Eastern European ride-sharing company that is currently operational in 20 cities across 15 countries. It made its way into Nigeria, Lagos to be precise, 2 years ago. Taxify is one of the most popular ride-sharing apps in Africa, present in 4 cities on the continent.
Uche Okafor, who is Taxify’s Operations Manager in Nigeria told City People recently that one of the selling points for Taxify is, that “Taxify charges cheaper fares than its competitor(s): less than 30% of competitor’s fares and the drivers earn 15% more pay than the closest competitor’s.
Since the inception and the launching of these 2 taxi operations, namely Uber and Taxify, the conventional taxi-cab; popular known as Yellow Taxi-cabs has been hit by low patronage.
For instance, taxi drivers who used to make as much as 15 to 20 thousand naira on a daily basis before the advent of Uber and Taxify, are now struggling to survive. Many of them, who have good cars have also embraced the new trend by registering under the Transporation network company according to a Taxi-cab driver.
City People also engaged a former Uber, but now Taxify driver two week ago on how it has been in the sector since the advent of these 2 giant Transportation network systems. He told us the difference between the two and why people are embracing them. He spoke on how to become a driver under the 2 companies in which he has worked. He also revealed how people have been rejecting an offer to drive rich people in the society.
“There is no urge again to carry our big men, especially those who can’t pay big sum. Some of the responses you get now from Uber and Taxify’s drivers are; how much will you pay oga? I have received more than 10 calls this week from rich men, begging me to help them with someone to drive them. Nobody is available now, I can’t lie to you.
I have also worked under someone as a driver before, but now, I can decide to close from work now and I will still be fine. All you need to have in this business is, a fine Toyota car; you know Toyota cars consume less; the fuel consumption is less.
You must have your own car to start this business (Uber or Taxify business). If you don’t have, you can rent. Even some car owners come to us that they have a car we can use and we will do a bargain”.
He spoke on safety and complaints. “Yes, they are blocking drivers everyday ooo. Any report about you, you will be blocked immediately. He also spoke on relocating to the East. “If they relocate to East, I mean Taxify, I will move down there with my car. You know it’s the same price you pay everywhere, though population matters a lot. Customers might not be too many there, but drivers will be few.
When Taxify first came to Lagos, they didn’t charge commission. What is the commission of Uber and Taxify? Uber is charging 25 percent commission on what you make per week and Taxify is charging 15 percent.
In this work, you can save 20 thousand after all your expenses but you will have rest of mind. After food, everything, you can still save nothing less than 20 thousand naira at the end of the month. And you can also make additional income from off-line. Someone can approach you that he wants you to drive him to Ibadan; that doesn’t have anything to do with Taxify or Uber. Sometime, they will rent your car for a video shoot.
If you don’t come online (Taxify), they won’t charge you for that; what they will do is to block you and when you want to reactivate they will ask for your driver’s licence and the year of the car, if they meet their requirements”.
What other advantages do Uber and Taxify have? “If you carry anyone and after a few hours, the family can’t locate or find the location of the person, the driver who took that person would be tracked” because when I drop you, I will click trip ended and that is to confirm you have arrived your destination”, and that is why online business is good.
Another thing that also differentiates these 2 services are; you can only work 12 hours a day as a driver in Uber, but you can work anytime at Taxify; time is limitless. Once you work 12 hours on Uber, they will lock you out till the following day.
“Another key point also is, you can’t pay cash to Uber driver, but Taxify drivers accept cash. You know, we run as cash economy. That has also made a lot of people to like Taxify”.
Since it was introduced into Nigeria’s transport system, Uber Nigeria has been the priority of many city residents, especially in Lagos and Abuja. However, the presence of Taxify Nigeria now means Uber has got to compete with another great riding platform.
Many Taxify riders we spoke with last week also commended the Taxify for breaking what they see as monopoly. They even rated the platform above others for being a little cheaper than the latter; and if you feel it is quite expensive for you to afford, the other one, Taxify, comes in as the cheap alternative”.
Uber links drivers with riders, Taxifyy also uses what is known Taxify driver app to establish safe relationship between its drivers and riders.