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Bolt, Uber drivers May down tools over low fares, welfare

By Barakat Odegbola

Bolt and Uber drivers under the aegis of Professional E-hailing Drivers and Private Owners Association (PEDPA) has issued a strike ultimatum over low fares, welfare.

The e-cab drivers threatened to embark on strike on Monday , April 19 2021, if the e-hailing companies fail to increase their fares being charged by the operators.

Speaking at a news conference yesterday in Lagos, the national president of PEDPA, Idris Shonuga, called for immediate upward review of e-cab fares to reflect the current economic reality in the country.

According to Shonuga, over 95 per cent of e-hailing transactions are consummated through Uber and Bolt platforms.

He said that the companies had refused to review their pricing despite unprecedented increases in the price of fuel, vehicles spare parts, food items and other essential commodities in the country.

“In a quest to work and harmoniously at resolving some issues, the association wrote several letters to the companies which was not attended to, showing nonchalant attitude towards our plight.

“Your companies have failed, refused and neglected to honour our request for a meeting to discuss issues beneficial to all e-hailing drivers in Nigeria.

“And to fashion a harmonious relationship that will benefit, dignify and improve the standard of living of e-hailing drivers, private car owners and the general standard of e-hailing business in the country.

“Instead of fixing a new and reasonable fare in line with inflation, the companies have recklessly continued to maintain the low fare, thereby, impoverishing hard working young Nigerians who are diligently and lawfully trying to make a decent living,”  he said.

Shonuga further said the e-hailing companies have refused to address issues of welfare packages for drivers, especially families of those who died and got disabled in the line of duty.

He noted that 15 drivers had lost their lives in a series of accidents, while 20 had lost their lives through kidnapping or killing by ritualists in the course of service.

The e-cab operators, demanded that, therefore, adequate welfare package for drivers and compensation to the families of those that lost their lives or are permanently disabled in the line of duty should be taken into consideration.

“More than 20 others have also lost their lives through kidnapping or killed by ritualists without any compensation from the operators,” the association said.

Shonuga said that the association was considering taking legal action to seek remedies against the e-hailing companies if their demands were not met.

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