Uber has adjusted its base fares. The ride-hailing company says the adjustment was due to the fuel subsidy removal.

TechCabal can exclusively report that Uber has increased its base fares. In an official communication from Uber to its drivers seen by TechCabal, the company adjusted the minimum fare on Uber X from ₦850 to ₦1200. This price adjustment means customers will now pay N25 per minute. Part of the statement to drivers read, “We are confident that these changes will have a positive impact on your earnings opportunity, and we will continue to work on initiatives which help in making Uber the app of choice for you while maintaining an affordable service for riders.”

Tope Akinwumi, Uber’s Country Manager for Nigeria told TechCabal in an email, “Following an in-depth review of the current fuel subsidy removal, Uber updated fares on the 3rd and 9th June on the app to reflect existing economic conditions. We believe these changes have helped better support drivers in increasing their earning opportunities. Furthermore, we lowered the service fee in February 2022 from 25% to 20% to help enable better-earning opportunities for drivers.” He added that the fare increases are designed to help drivers cover the recent increase in fuel costs, not the entire fuel cost.

An official of the Amalgamated Union of App-based Transport Workers of Nigeria (AUATWON) confirmed the fare increment. Comrade Idris Shonuga, a national trustee of the union, told TechCabal, “Yes. We are aware. But we are still consulting because the new prices do not reflect the drivers’ demands. So we are still consulting.”

A driver on Uber who spoke to TechCabal also confirmed the new fares. According to him, “The new fares are not 100% okay, but at least they have made some adjustments, so we would go out to work. The rest now is for us to regulate our cars and think about how to conserve fuel.” 

This move by Uber is a significant concession because base fares are a bone of contention between drivers and ride-hailing companies. Last week, drivers asked that Uber and Bolt should increase base fares by 200%. The new ask was in response to the removal of fuel subsidies in Nigeria, which led to an increase in the price of fuel from around N169 to N490 per litre. The midweek protest by the AUATWON saw the drivers ask ride-hailing companies to also reduce their commission. The same week, Uber’s rival Bolt offered drivers a daily bonus of N6,000, amongst other incentives. But the drivers who spoke to TechCabal kicked against the bonus, which had several conditions.

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Ganiu Oloruntade Reporter, TechCabal
Faith Omoniyi Intern Reporter

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