According to data from Rakuten Intelligence, the cost of Uber rides has climbed by 92 percent between January 2018 and July 2021.
Many passengers (customers) have also expressed dissatisfaction with the lengthening of wait times for rides. The recent scarcity of drivers has been a significant contributor to the delays in “ride arrivals.”
Uber drivers were operating at approximately 40% of their maximum capacity as of early July 2021. According to complaints and lamentations from the drivers, carjackers, kidnappers, ritual killers, and armed robbers continue to pose a threat to the lives of Uber drivers in Abuja.
According to their most recent count, over ten drivers have been slain, and their vehicles have been taken, while the hoodlums have injured numerous others.
Earlier this year, the Online Hackney Practitioners Association of Nigeria (OHPAN) called on the government to compel ride-hailing companies to profile users of their services to stop the recent spate of driver killings and the use of fictitious identities by criminals.
“When you go to pick a rider, you find names like Ghost, Snake, Juju, Scorpion, Grave Death, Death, and still they will utilize Uber platforms to seek a ride, and the companies are doing nothing to stop the killings,” says the source. You write to them, and they will respond with something like, “We will notify the authorities,” and that’s it,” the group claimed.
But the corporation has taken note and is investing millions of dollars in bonuses and base rates to entice drivers back into the fold. However, these ride-sharing companies may have to go above and beyond to persuade drivers to return to turn things around.
According to Stanley, an Uber driver who also serves as the group’s volunteer coordinator, “the company does not see us as human beings; they only see us as a source of wealth.”
According to statistics on Uber’s website, drivers can earn anywhere from N9,000 per hour in cities like Abuja to N15,000 per hour in cities such as Lagos, depending on the location. On the other hand, the corporations are not providing enough for individuals who are still dependent on ride-sharing platforms to make a life.
Many drivers have, in fact, made the transfer to food delivery services or dispatch services as a result of the existing working conditions offered by the organization.
In an interview with Business Insider, former Uber driver Uchenna Anagor revealed that he switched his resources to dispatch services after weighing the risk-reward ratio of the Uber business and seeing that there was a significant gap between the two measurements ratios.
“I can’t take the chance of losing my life and abandoning my family for the sake of receiving peanuts at the end of the day. According to Anagor, “it is not really worth the risk.”
No results had been obtained from several protests and letters to appropriate authorities, including the police, regarding the threat.
According to Emeka Emerole, chairman of the OHPAN, “this year alone, over ten of our drivers were killed, and their cars were stolen away, and many more were hurt; some had permanent impairments as a result of these carjackers.”
“Drivers such as Ezekiel Akinyele, Matthew Okafor, Akin Awojabi, and a slew of others were slaughtered and their remains left on the streets of Abuja,” the statement continued. Fortunately, one of us, Moses, is still alive today to relate the story himself, having fought for his life in the National Hospital Abuja, but he has permanently lost sight. However, the most irritating aspect of the matter is that Uber is not taking any meaningful steps to address it”, he continued.
His comments were as follows: “It is infuriating that someone will choose a SIM card and insert it into a phone, seek a ride, and take the driver to an unknown area, kill the driver, and then take his car.” Also, because Uber does not know who he is, he is untraceable. However, when it comes to drivers, the companies have our BVNs and NINs and our driving licenses, addresses, pictures, and a variety of other information to ensure that users of their services are protected.
“However, to do the same thing in the case of riders would be inappropriate because they do not regard us as significant. We are appealing to the government to intervene and save us.”
According to Uber’s 2020 annual earnings report, drivers who could not deliver passengers during the pandemic experienced something akin to a gold rush. While its ride-sharing revenue decreased 43 percent between 2019 and 2020, its delivery revenue increased 179 percent.
With a scarcity of drivers, it’s unclear if the ride-sharing business model will be viable in the long run. Compared to most other publicly traded companies, the company has not generated consistent profits but rather has suffered huge losses. During the previous year, Uber lost $6.77 billion, and in 2019, the company lost $8.51 billion, the last full year before the outbreak.
Uber was experiencing financial difficulties even before the pandemic, at a time when the company was seeing significant growth. During that time period, the company was subsidizing the price of rides through promotions, discounts, and even simply lowering the cost of rides to attract more customers. As a result, a portion of the capital acquired by these companies was used to make rides more reasonable and to ensure that drivers were satisfied with their compensation. Now that Uber is a publicly-traded corporation, they must be more concerned with earning a profit.
Uber has announced a $250 million driver stimulus program and has increased its investment in driver bonuses and incentives to turn things around.
According to the company, rider wait times and pricing should improve as a result of the thousands of new drivers who have joined the platform.