Tom, meet Foolery: Uber Edition

uber lagos cash

I walked into Ikeja City Mall last Thursday, to take a few shots with the 360-degree camera I’ve been testing, and on the way out, one of the cab drivers who linger at the exit, looking for passengers to overcharge, reached out to me.

“Fine boy, my guy, you want tazi, abi?”

I ignore him, and continue staring at my phone screen.

“If you no like the normal one, I get the Hooba (Uber) type.”

That’s when it hit me. Even though this gentleman hasn’t the faintest idea how Uber actually works, he has become aware of its existence. I knew then, that the game was up. Oh shit.

You see, it’s not just the Yellow about to be put out of business cab drivers that have become aware of Uber. There’s been a lot of tomfoolery going on, on the streets of Lagos recently. Apparently, FRSC (and Police) officers have been giving Uber drivers trouble for placing their phones (which they use as GPS) in those adhesive dashboard holders. So, in the eyes of these nimrods, it’s safer to (turn your head and) pick up your phone when you need directions. Brilliant.

And they are now being profiled. “Do you drive a clean Toyota Camry or Corolla? Do you look too young (or too poor) to own said car? Do you have a dashboard phone holder? Then you too get a chance to win a pull over by the “authorities” and an inevitable extortion for good measure.” Yippie!

It’s no wonder Ebi has been cozying up to the FIRS and LIRS and lobbying senators to pass laws (you should read that) in favour of ridesharing in Nigeria. If Uber drivers and partners a(appear to be)re on the right side of the law, then it’s that much more difficult to persecute them. ‘Nuff said. I’m going to look away now.

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