Uber Responds to Lagos Boycott with Earnings Increase for Drivers.

29 Apr 2024

The Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, e-hailing drivers in Lagos, Nigeria’s bustling commercial hub, have been boycotting the Uber app. In response to this situation, Uber has announced a 10% increase in earnings for its drivers, as revealed in a communication to drivers.

Starting April 2, 2024, UberX drivers will see a 10% increase in per-kilometre and per-minute fares. The communication reads, “From April 2nd, 2024, we will be adjusting fares on the UberX service to optimize your earning potential. Both weekday and weekend fares will see a 10% increase per kilometer and minute.”

While Uber attributes this increase to the prevailing macroeconomic conditions, a majority of the drivers perceive it as a strategy to lure them back to the platform.


This comes on the heels of a tense standoff between Uber and the Lagos State government. E-hailing drivers had threatened to boycott the Uber app after the Ministry of Transportation clamped down on the company for refusing to provide access to its database via API integration. The ministry’s actions primarily affected the drivers, considered independent contractors, as their vehicles were impounded. One driver recounted how ministry agents would book a ride on the Uber platform and then confront the drivers upon arrival for pickup.

The driver, named Sunday, expressed his frustration, saying, “If Uber has a dispute with the government, we drivers shouldn’t be the ones to suffer. I don’t work for Uber; I just use their app. It’s baffling that my vehicle has been impounded, my tyres deflated, and no one can explain why this is happening to me.”

With the ministry continuing to impound vehicles and Uber’s reluctance to fully integrate its database with the ministry’s API in line with global privacy best practices, drivers have become increasingly cautious about using the app, particularly in Ikeja and other business districts.


In a statement from the spokesperson of the Lagos state chapter of the Amalgamated Union of App-based Transporters of Nigeria (AUATON), drivers were advised to either steer clear of hotspots or completely boycott the Uber app to avoid falling prey to the government’s clampdown. The statement read, “As a responsible union, our goal is to shield our members from the oppression of this app company and the Lagos government. Hence, we suggest a temporary halt in the use of the Uber app.


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