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Uber drivers in Lagos are protesting again over the reduced fare price

by Milicent Atieno

The taxi-hailing service Uber and its drivers are always fighting over one issue or the other. Over the weekend we featured an article on the ongoing price war between Uber and Taxify in Lagos, Nigeria.

Taxify, in a move to woo over more commuters given it is the latest taxi-hailing service to enter the Lagos market, resorted to offering the lowest prices. Uber in an offensive move, made a counterattack by also lowering its prices, but as we said earlier. Uber drivers are notorious for going on strike; sometimes over trivial matters.

No doubt the ongoing price wars work to the advantage of commuters, and at the same time to the disadvantage of the drivers. Reliable sources privy to the matter claim, what agitated the Uber drivers most was the short notice put out on the planned reduction of fare. The sources claim Uber informed the drivers about intended price cut just 24 hours before they implemented it.

On Thursday, Uber held a meeting that brought together the company’s officials, but an agreement was never reached. Some argue that while at the meeting, Uber was only concerned about making money. The source claims, Uber will still maintain its 25% of the revenue, and the drivers keep 75%, as it has always been.

However, thanks to the price cut, the drivers claims the will not be making much. Especially those you have rented the cars bought it on hire purchase et all, who are the majority of Uber drivers.

The price cut, coupled with the rising cost of fuel, maintenance, and road hazards just to mention a few. Drivers say they will be taking little to nothing home after catering for all the cost of operations. Drivers did not mince their words when they stated that they are not happy with the reduction of fares.

On its part, Uber argues that it has put in place “temporary earning guarantees” that will “ensure driver-partners, who put in the time, don’t lose out.” Sources claim that Uber drivers will be required to earn a certain minimum per hour to enjoy the guarantees fully.

The issue of guarantees is the most insult on our intelligence. They tell you if you don’t make up to 1500 per hour, for instance, they will pay you the difference. For example, if you make 1200 in one hour, then Uber will pay you 300 as a top up,” claims the source.

The problems between Uber and its drivers appear to be more than just the recent price cut. There are claims that some more unresolved issues in the past touching on security among others, which have contributed to drivers going on a protest. The drivers have organized a peaceful protest set to kick off today at the National Stadium in Lagos starting 10 AM.

Uber drivers demand the company reversed the price cut, reduce its commission to just 10%, give the drivers insurance, and come up with a way to verify commuters.

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