It Doesn't Look Easy for Uber in Nigeria, or Ride Hailing Apps Generally

As it stands, if I’m to go with and my colleages usage and mine as well, Uber is losing quite a lot of business. We moved, some to Taxify and others to Little. We still keep the app, it’s sitting on the app drawer, only thing it’s doing there is mining data on my phone and knows that I have the other apps, probably knows which I’m using (story for another day). But Rich Tanksley here seems to be painting a very gloomy image of Uber, and taxi hailing apps in Nigeria.

He says that drivers have moved en-masse to Uber and are doing their part to game the system. Stay with both apps but will give priority to Taxify, as will riders. Basically when you request a cab on Uber, the number that shows available is too low compared to how it was a few months back. Many resort to requesting Taxify.

So here is what is happening. When you open the Uber app, there are maybe 5 cars in all of Lagos available. This used to be hundreds. But now since there are no cars available, Uber’s system corrects this by putting in surge pricing. So now as a rider, I have to pay 2.7 times the usual rate because Uber pissed off their drivers. So what do I do? I cancel and call at Taxify instead. Taxify now has on average 5 times the cars available as Uber.

If there is no surge, I call and Uber and a Taxify at the same time. The one that actually gets to me faster gets my business, I cancel the other one. The thing is, the drivers are now doing the same thing since loyalty went out the door weeks ago. The drivers drive on both apps. So just when it looks like your Uber is about to arrive, he takes a diversion, because he is also actually dropping off a Taxify rider as well. Both riders and drivers are gaming the system and the end result is they both lose. Even more terrible service for the riders, and drivers now get more cancellations then before.

And it started with the same events as it was with Kenya. Little Cab enters the market and Uber drastically drops fares to own Little, drivers riot. Little lowers even further (I understand that Safaricom throws in some incentive to fill in the amounts earned by the driver), Riders start moving to Little. Also assisted by the software upgrade that made the Little app useable. It was a mess previously.

The other alternative is Taxify, very low fares. We did a comparison article to show how each compares, and this has remained the same ever since.

I don’t expect that things will go back to where they were before organized taxi, but this market is getting very interesting, even for Uber which started this.

Thing is Uber still has an advantage,Globally except the US,most customers are simply not uninstalling the app,they still see value in the platform,testament to this is Ubers revenues keep growing quarter by quarter…If they are able to overcome the bad PR and cases all over the globe they still have a business.Personally,i have been using uber a lot,the UI is simple,i travel a bit so they are everywhere i go and i am always served.I believe there are still many africans using Uber even if its once a month,already Uber has over 100k monthly Active users locally.They are currently in a phase,it happens,they just need to focus and streamline their business…soon they will be back introducing new disruptive products locally like uberpool,ubereats e.t.c.If the competition wants to win and dominate this local market,they need to work fast and be proactive not wait for uber then react.

I recently requested an Uber but what picked me up was a Little - it had that “Little” branding. The driver was candid enough to tell me that he offers services using both platforms. So yea, Loyalty ni wewe :grin:, you can’t eat loyalty! I understand that Uber drivers are independent contractors, so aren’t they obliged to stick to one platform? If not, what about conflict of interest argument that arises?

I moved to little because of live fare. Fare ikipanda uone huwemake, unakata safari na kupanda matatu :joy::joy::joy:


There is no loyalty among Uber drivers,they are all over with different digital apps and platforms just going where the customer is…I dont think its a big deal for the consumer as long as one ensures the person who is picking them is the one the app is showing…

Maybe these ride hailign apps should wokr together and have a common database based on the cars and not drivers. So, vehicle KCL***L cannot be an Uber and a Little at the same time.

This will ensure the service remain of high quality and it will reduce this issue of saying “Uber is crowded with lots if cars”.

But then again, this will never happen.


This Would be difficult and a similar model has already been tried (and generally failed) when agents were being told they can’t serve both MPESA and Airtel Money in the samw establishment or a phone distributor can’t sell Samsung phones. Talk to the owners of such businesses and they’ll tell you these restrictions have been thrown out because the traders don’t make as much money. I get an official outlet not selling competitor products but an agent doesn’t have the company’s resources backing them so they should be freelance.

It’s like saying you can’t be a reseller for Google and Microsoft yet neither of them give you special discounts or high commissions to compensate.

Uber doesn’t give drivers fair commissions so they can’t legitimately expect them to be loyal. Loyalty is earned not forced at gun point. For instance, I’m loyal (but still critical) to Samsung yet they don’t pay me or give me any special discount/treatment because I believe in their product. And that’s how it should be.

I trust Uber because they are more thorough with their background checks and may be demanding more information from potential driver partners unlike competitors,this could also have cost implications.Its better to be carried by a thoroughly vetted driver than some random fellow who might have a criminal record and questionable profile that may have been overlooked due to cutting down on onboarding costs by the ride hailing apps

How is that working out for you?

Don’t answer, we will be kicked out.

VERY well actually. I buy all my devices myself and while it is expensive, when someone asks me for an opinion, I can give them an honest one because I am not paid by anyone, they trust me more and I sleep better at night. You saw how these ‘influencers’ mishandled flex or how they promote Samsung/Tecno yet I know (some) for a fact would ditch them in favour of iPhone.

There are loyal Samsung/Huawei/Tecno users who would never switch (unless the company closed) and while they don’t have large numbers to ‘influence’ they have true passion for the brands. I hope one day these people (if willing) are the one’s to promote these brands. They have authenticity you can’t find in an ‘influencer’

Hakuna… We are active forum members :wink::blush:

These influencers ain’t loyal. They “influence” devices that they have never used.

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Let them do what they want with their car, this economy is hard.


Anything to survive or diversify for as long as it’s legal

what i have learned in tech,never be loyal to a brand

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I’m now crying over a display issue that came with a software update that Samsung sent me a few months ago. Planned obsolescence is real.