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General Manager, West Africa at Uber, Ebi Atawodi (middle) fanked by Uber Nigeria team

Uber To Introduce ‘Uber-Pool’ To Nigeria, Lowers Entry Cars To 2004

• To Introduce pool cars soon
• Lowers entry cars to 2004 models
• Pick up time now about 8 minutes in many places
• Engages overt 3,000 partner drivers in Nigeria
Isaiah Onwuanumba
Uber has announced that it is set to introduce Uber- Pool in Nigeria and that it has lowered entry cars year from 2008 down to 2004models to enable more user and car owners key into the taxi system and become part of its success story.
General Manager, West Africa at Uber, Ebi Atawodi was speaking in Lagos on Wednesday during a media round-table with IT Journalists. According to her, Uber- Pool is a situation where a partner driver takes more than one passengers who are going to the same direction.
“In this case the cost is shared. The cost is marginally cheaper. When it does come, it will half the cost of boarding uber taxi because ‘price will shared by occupants based on the distance each person covers.”
IT NEWS NIGERIA gathered that the price incentives will be key attraction to Uber users.
Ms Ebi also noted that Uber – Pool will help drastically reduce the number of cars on the roads and the consequent congestion and heavy vehicular traffic.
Furthermore, she explained that “Uber shares the idea that if you don’t disrupt yourself other will do it for you”, adding, Uber will continue to innovate to meet the aspiration of its users.
Many companies, she said, had gone out of business because they refused to disrupt or re-vent themselves. A good ‘’example is Kodak that recently filed for bankruptcy. “you must keep disrupting yourself otherwise somebody will do it for you.”
In another development, Uber also revealed that it has lowered the year of car manufacture from 2008 down to 2004 to enable more care owners to key into the taxi system and become part of its success story. This was after much consideration as newer cars are now very expensive. it was Lagos State Government that insisted car must be 12 years or newer.
IT NEWS NIGERIA learned that Uber Nigeria now engages over 3000 partner drivers including many who had lost their jobs and means of livelihood under the nation’s economy in the down turn and recession.
In responding to IT NEWS NIGERIA question about the need to ensure not only security of car but also safety of partner driver under uncertain Nigeria environment, Ebi said Uber ensures that partner drivers obtain “commercial Insurance which covers the parties in the vehicle event of incident.”
There are stringent measures in place to ensure that both the driver and passenger adhere to Uber’s code of conduct. She said after each trip the passenger as well as the driver rate each other.
If either party continues to receive poor ratings both the driver and passenger could be deactivated from the platform. Then the driver would be recommended for retraining. He must go back to write the 100 question test any driver must pass and other required trainings before readmitted into the platform.
We also learned that in many places passengers do not need to wait for long anymore. For example, “Yaba, Lagos pick up time was 30 minutes but today it is 8 minutes. Uber Nigeria said it has adequate mechanism in place to respond and address individual concerns and that complaints are responded to quickly and as when due.
Uber started in San Francisco, USA on June 1, 2010 with 8 cars. In 2015 it hit 1 billion rides. Today Uber operates in more than 450 cities in over 70 countries. It has more than 1 million drivers. In Africa, it operates in 12 cities in 6 countries and over 10,000 drivers. In Nigeria it has over 3000 drivers in 2 years.

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