We called it first. Then on Monday, it got confirmed. Now, the headline says it all. Abuja, Your UberX has arrived and with it, 6 days worth of free rides. The rides are only free as long as they’re under N3000 worth (which you probably won’t exhaust in Abuja anyways) and they must start and end in Abuja coverage areas.
Now, whenever Uber launches in a city, they pick a “Rider Zero” to take the first ride. When they came to Lagos, Ice Prince was picked by their launch team. This time, they aren’t joking – they’ve picked 5.
First, is Adama Indimi, the Nigerian/Swiss/Chadian humanitarian (see what I did there?). She will be posting updates to her Instagram page about charity events everyone in Abuja can participate in.
Next up is Charles Okpaleke, CEO and co-founder of Play Entertainment Network. His club, Play Lounge is also offering 15% off beverages to all Uber riders on Thursday night. Take an Uber there, flash your receipt to the bartender and you’re in.
Third is Sal Gbaja, owner of Salamander Cafe in Wuse II. She is offering 10% discounts to all Uber riders from today (March 23) till April 6th. Simply take an Uber there, and show your Uber receipt to redeem the discount.
Celebrity wedding photographer, George Okoro is offering 5% discounts on his wedding packages for all Uber Riders.
Ogwa Iweze, owner of Dzyn, a women’s fashion house also rode an Uber today, and she’s offering 15% discount for Uber riders. Show your Uber receipt at her store, and you’re good to go.
From where I’m standing, it looks like Uber is doubling down on Africa. They made a number of hires in Mombasa in Kenya a few weeks ago. We’re hearing (actually, we know) that their move in that direction is official, as well.
I’m still wondering what the strategy is here, since Abuja’s transport system isn’t as much of a clusterfuck as Lagos is/was before Uber arrived here. Well, the Uber Nigeria team know that they’re doing so I’m going to have trust them.