Fuel subsidy: Bolt announces 15% increase in fares, Uber X 21%, as e-hailing drivers union demand 200% increase

Godfrey Elimian
Fuel subsidy: Uber and Bolt drivers union demand a 200% increase in fares after Bolt's 15% increase
Fuel subsidy: Uber and Bolt drivers union demand a 200% increase in fares after Bolt’s 15% increase

E-hailing company, Bolt, has announced a 15% increase in its fares. This comes as drivers under the aegis of the Amalgamated Union of App-Based Transport Workers of Nigeria (AUATWON) demanded a fare increase from ride-hailing companies such as Uber, Bolt, and others following the fuel subsidy removal.

In an email to drivers obtained by Technext, pricing for the regular Bolt trip rose from N3,300 to N3,780. In the same vain, a trip on Bolt Corporate rose from N3,460 to N4,020 while the fare for Bolt Lite rose from N2,660 to N2,980. Taken togther, they represent an increase of about 15%.

Similarly, Uber X announced a fare increase of about 21% from what it used to be. According to correspondences obtained by Technext, the Uber service increased Minimun Fare from N700 to N850. Base fare was also increased from N575 to N690 while per kilometre fare rose from N106 to N130 while Per minute fare rose form N18 to N22. On the average, these represent a 21% increase.

The management of Lagos Ride also reportdly announced a 16.6% increase in base fare, rising from N300 to N350. However, its reported distance covered fee rose by about 30.1%.

Bolt fare review
Uber X fares

While these increments are commendable, they are, however, a very far cry from the 200% increase the drivers are demanding.

AUATWON lists its demands

The Amalgamated Union of App-Based Transport Workers of Nigeria’ (AUATWON), during an emergency meeting of the union, called for a 200% increase in fares after Bolt increased its fares by just 15%.

The leadership decried the attitude of the e-hailing companies towards App-Based Transport Workers across Nigeria, most especially on the effect of fuel subsidy removal which has now led to over 265%-300% increase in official fuel pumps price which ranges from 488/litre to 557/litre as against 184/litre and 200/litre respectively.

Lamenting the ripple effect of the new fuel price over members’ earnings and patronage, the National Administrative Council of the Union said it has analyzed the fuel price in various states across Nigeria and realized that the union or members do not have control over transportation price offered to passengers as expected, unlike independent cab drivers, branded taxi driver, bus drivers and others.

In order to lessen the effects of the removal of fuel subsidy, AUATWON requested a 200 per cent increase in price reviews, a decrease in commissions, and a subsidy for riders. As pressure from the app-based transportation workers grows, the union implores the ride-hailing companies to act quickly on their demands.

“We have also considered over 200% increase in the prices of vulcanizers, motorcycles spare parts, and labour cost inter-state. As a result of this, our earnings and profitability have been completely eroded by over 300% respectively.”

“While the ride-hailing companies continue to charge between 20%-25% commission leaving the hardworking workers in huge loss, considering the interest of our passengers who are also affected by this subsidy removal, the council has resolved as follows.

  • The union resolved and demands those ride-hailing app companies operating within Nigeria like Uber, Bolt, Lagride, Indrive, Drop and others immediately review their price upward by 200% and set minimum trip fares at 2000 naira respectively
  • All app companies should immediately set their commission at 10% flat or reduce their commission by 50% without any hidden charges, owing to homogeneous commission charges that have made our business unprofitable.
  • We demand that app companies subsidize trip fares for the rider by at least 5% to cushion the effect of the increase in price for the rider using the gain from the homogeneous commission reserved.
  • AUATWON demands that no App Companies deactivate any of our drivers’ accounts as a result of this fuel subsidy removal on account of carrying out their lawful business or failure to act on our various demands.

Fuel subsidy removal

Recall that in our previous report, we mentioned how some e-hailing drivers in Lagos lamented the reluctance of app companies to increase their fares to reflect the reality of the situation. They noted the fact that they were yet to receive any email or message from the e-hailing companies and all the increases in fares at that time.

On May 29, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu announced during his inauguration speech that the fuel subsidy was gone. This immediately sent the country’s petroleum sector into panic, and within hours, filling stations increased the pump price of PMS by more than 100%, in some places even more than 200%.

Hours after President Bola Tinubu said that the government would stop the fuel subsidy regime, fuel queues reappeared in Nigerian cities on Monday as many drivers rushed to buy petroleum goods.

Soon after, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) on Wednesday approved an upward review in the pump price of petroleum nationwide. The approval took effect from Wednesday, 31 May, according to the circular released.

The country’s largest cities’ pump prices ranged from N480 to N560 from the initial N189 price, an increase of more than 150%.


Technext Newsletter

Get the best of Africa’s daily tech to your inbox – first thing every morning.
Join the community now!

Register for Technext Coinference 2023, the Largest blockchain and DeFi Gathering in Africa.

Technext Newsletter

Get the best of Africa’s daily tech to your inbox – first thing every morning.
Join the community now!