Adebayo Padmore, a driver with LagRide, the Lagos state-backed ride-hailing platform that launched in 2022, died this morning as he prepared for his routine of picking up passengers. His death will again highlight criticism of LagRide’s asset-financing model.

“He collapsed at 5 a.m. this morning after checking the bonnet before resuming today’s job, and we had to revive him with buckets of water,” said Saheed Ayeni, one of three drivers who took Padmore to Louis Med hospital in Lekki, from Oniru market where he collapsed. “His last words while we rushed him here were, “Don’t let me die.”[ad]

Padmore was pronounced dead minutes after a doctor attended to him. A cause of death has not been established at the time of this report. 

“We will conduct an autopsy to ascertain the cause of death,” said Tumi Adeyemi, the head of the solutions for LagRide. He also told TechCabal that an investigation would be launched into the matter. 

Padmore was previously treating an undisclosed ailment, said Saheed Ayeni and one other driver. According to them, LagRide’s daily targets put drivers like Padmore under pressure. 

In December 2023, Ibrahim Ayoade, the general secretary of the App-Based Transporters of Nigeria (AUATON), faulted LagRide’s financing model, claiming it encouraged driver partners to demand unrealistic returns from drivers. He said the association had critiqued this “killer model” with no success.

LagRide operates a lease-to-own model that allows drivers to make a downpayment of ₦700,000 ($791) for brand-new GAC vehicles (SUV and Sedan options). Drivers spread the rest of the payments across four years by making daily payments of ₦8900 ($11.25). 

However, according to a dashboard seen by TechCabal, drivers are obligated to drive for 10 hours daily or a total of 150 kilometres. 

Meeting those targets ensures drivers earn enough to cover expenses and LagRide’s daily repayments, reducing the possibility of defaults. Drivers who work ten hours earn ₦43,000 on average and take home around ₦10,000 after expenses, said three LagRide drivers.

Failing to meet targets does not attract punishment or penalties, but it puts their dashboard in a “negative daily percentage,” said one driver.

LagRide’s daily targets. Image Source: TechCabal

Over 20 ride-hailing drivers gathered at the hospital, echoing LagRide’s failure in its duty to drivers. “They stopped paying for our health insurance and car maintenance months ago,” said a driver who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals. 

The drivers have contacted the Padmore family based in Ibadan. The corpse is being moved to his hometown at the moment.

*This is a developing story

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Joseph Olaoluwa Senior Reporter, TechCabal

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