Ride-hailing drivers in Nigeria, operating under the umbrella of the Amalgamated Union of App-Based Transport Workers of Nigeria (AUATWON), are urging the Federal Government to reconsider the removal of fuel subsidies.
They argue that this decision has significantly exacerbated the hardships faced by their members.
This was disclosed in a statement by the chairman Media and Publicity Committee, Mr Jossy Olawale, citing that the app companies had refused to adjust fare prices to profit the workers.
They also claimed that with the removal of subsidy app-based transport workers are “ subsidizing” their own transport fares.
They said they are facing the worst hardships of their lives as a result of the removal as they contend with fixed rates, adding:
- “App-based transport workers in Nigeria are facing the worst hardship of their lives as a result of fuel subsidy removal and lack of ability to adjust our transport price anytime there is an increase in the price of fuel just the way other transporters can quickly adjust to the reality.
- “The app companies Uber, Bolt, Lagride, Indriver and others fix the price and their commission, leaving the drivers to their losses; the situation of our drivers today is that we are the ones subsidising the transport fare for the riders in Nigeria.”
They added that the removal of subsidy has left members in a state of hopelessness, citing that their members across Nigeria were predominantly unemployed graduates, who could not find jobs as a result of the rate of unemployment in the country.
- “However, the means of survival is now a state of hopelessness for our members, whose daily operational cost is largely dependent on petrol.
- “Also, in less than two months, this cost has gone up by over 350 per cent to 400 per cent respectively, depending on the part of Nigeria one lives, as today, fuel is now sold between N570 and N715 per litre in this country. “
They urged the Federal Government to support its members in the area of grants to explore alternative fueling, including the use of Compressed Natural Gas, and also revisit the subsidy removal.
- “Our members cannot afford the cost of conversion as it were, and we want the government to support in this direction along with other measures as quickly as possible before the situation will fully become unbearable.
- “We are also calling on the government to revisit the removal of subsidy considering the multiplier effect on the economy and deteriorating living standard of the poor.”
They added the app companies have remained adamant they can only increase fares between 25% and 40% and still maintained 20% to 25% commission.
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