Bolt’s claim of offering the best mobility services in Nigeria raises questions about negligence

Bolt Expands Ride-hailing Service to Umuahia and Abakaliki, Now in 24 Nigerian States

Bolt Nigeria was in the news for several negative reasons in 2022 despite claiming to offer the best mobility services in Nigeria. A report from Bolt Nigeria about its activities in 2022 revealed that riders prefer using the service to its rivals, despite several accounts of customer dissatisfaction.

The report reveals that some riders used Bolt to commute passengers well within the range of 1000 times last year. For instance, according to the report, the rider with the overall highest number of trips in Lagos used the platform over 1200 times, the highest number in the country. In Port Harcourt, it was over 1,100 times. In Owerri, the driver who used the platform the most used it 870 times.

Bolt says this underscores that it has become the preferred choice for riders and the best mobility service in Nigeria. “Bolt offers the best mobility services in Nigeria, which reflects how riders choose the platform as their preferred choice of mobility,” the statement from Bolt says.

Image credit: Rest of World

But this could also reflect the negligence to the activities of drivers on the platform by Bolt Nigeria’s management team that critics and customers have decried. Female passengers have spoken about being harassed severally by Bolt drivers while on trips.

Last year, the story of Cynthia Ndubuisi, a law student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, who accused Obiasulu Basil, a Bolt driver, of sexually harassing her during a trip rose to the top of the Twitter trend table. It was the subject of an FIJ investigation. Obiasulu Basil said that he thought he was pursuing what he felt was a mutual relationship. In that instance, Bolt blocked the driver.

The new report by Bolt did not include the number of drivers reported that it blocked for being inappropriate with passengers.

Bolt’s fiercest competitor in Nigeria, Uber, has been able to curb this type of incident by rolling out strict punishment for drivers who default its rules, including refunding passengers their fare in full as recompense for inadequate services. The report didn’t say how much Bolt refunded to customers for bad experiences on its platform.

A Rest of World report from last year also revealed that the company frequently asks users who experience criminal activities by drivers during Bolt rides to refer to the police. The report further revealed that drivers who have not been approved by Bolt using loaned accounts of verified users run rampant on the platform. It also claimed that “Bolt performs only minimal background checks on drivers, compared to Uber in Nigeria.”


This type of negligence and lax onboarding system could be responsible for Bolt’s argument that it’s the preferred platform by ride-hailing drivers. The report didn’t say how many such drivers have been blocked, if at all.

Instead, the company revealed in the report data on tips drivers received via the platform, with Port Harcourt, Owerri and Yenagoa snagging out the highest amount of tips at 25,000, 19,400 and 10,700 naira, respectively. In Lagos and Abuja, it was 3000 naira.

Abuja takes the top spot of Nigerian cities with the highest Bolt rides

The report shows that Abuja takes the top position in Nigeria as the city with the highest number of rides on Bolt in 2022.

Despite Lagos being the most populous state, Abuja had the overall rides ordered all year round, while Lagos saw the highest number of rides requested in a single day, at 120,000 on May 6th, 2022. Abuja saw the most rides ordered on Children’s Day, May 27th 2022, totalling 90,000.

Abuja took home the prize of the state with the overall highest number of rides all year because of lesser traffic and better roads, which make drivers more inclined to accept trips. In Lagos, however, drivers are more inclined to reject trips due to heinous traffic gridlock and longer distances.

Abuja also took the prize because, as the capital city, many people visit for fewer days, sorting out everything from passports to getting licences. Many of these visitors are more inclined to use ride-hailing platforms for their commute in a city they are not familiar with.

In both states, the coveted lover’s day, February 14th, didn’t sway users to order rides. However, in Calabar and Owerri, Valentine’s Day had the highest number of rides, with over 10,000 each.

Wuse Market Road, Abuja, was the most popular destination last year, with over 130,000 drop-offs. Then there was Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, in second place with over 124,000 drop-offs. Lagos came in third, with Shoprite Ikeja City Mall seeing over 122,000 drop-offs.

Bolt launches the First Ride-Hailing Inter-City Trip in Nigeria

In the South West, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos, saw the most pickups with over 200,000 pick-ups.


Regardless, Bolt is set for a more remarkable year, mainly because it has more drivers and lesser waiting times than other ride-hailing companies in Nigeria. A new partnership with CredPal offering “ride now pay later” solutions will further seal the deal.

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