Ride-hailing drivers are not enjoying the latest hike in fuel prices and hope app companies would reduce commissions to meet them halfway

A new shockwave has greeted ride hailing drivers following the increase of the pump price of fuel in Lagos and Abuja. The price of fuel rose to ₦617 this morning in Abuja, while selling for ₦520 per litre in many parts of Lagos. Members of the Amalgamated Union of App-based Transport Workers of Nigeria (AUATWON) told TechCabal that the fuel price hike has put them in a tough spot. 

A vice chairman of the union, Ifako-Ijaiye, David Ademola, told TechCabal that today’s increase will further eat into their margins. “Buying fuel at ₦500  per litre was not favourable before.” The Chairman of the media and publicity committee for the union, Comrade Jossy Olawale, said he was lucky to get fuel at ₦492 per litre in Egbeda, but worried that the increase in fuel would only complicate matters for e-hailing drivers. The Union’s argument is that while they have no control over fuel prices, they should be given a voice in determining the commission they pay to ride-hailing companies. The Union has been in a running battle to get the major ride-hailing companies to reduce their commission to 10%. 

Nigeria’s labour ministry dallies on recognising AUATWON

Olawale and Ademola believe that the delay in Nigeria’s labour ministry recognising AUATWON as the representative body for their interests has not helped their cause.  With the commission of 25% which they still have to remit to app companies like Uber and Bolt, another fuel price hike worsens their position. This is why Olawale has called for the Ministry of Labour and registrar of the trade unions to swiftly issue their certificate of registration. He also asked the ministry to ignore  ride-hailing companies’ objections to the registration of the union. “The ministry should trash that petition and allow our name to stay. They should issue our certificate immediately,” he said.

A possible solution ?

As the drivers continue their relentless pursuit of a 10% commission to be remitted to the ride hailing firms, they also called on the federal government and state government to look at alternative means of fuelling their cars, particularly with the Compressed natural gas (CNG). “Our members can’t afford the cost of conversion but we are asking the government to support us in funding this conversion so that our members who are unemployed graduates that have taken this job can continue to earn legitimately. We are also aware of the palliatives of ₦500 billion in place. We want AUTAWON to be captured in this palliative,” Olawale added.

Joseph Olaoluwa Senior Reporter, TechCabal

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