Uber In Nigeria : Successes and Challenges
|"It is a global concept, but it has to be localized by a team that understands the fabric of the city."- Atawodi|
Uber, an American online multinational transport company started operation in Lagos, Nigeria about two years ago since then the company has been enjoying favourable response despite hostile environment. According to the company executives, the car hailing app has provided 30% more rides in Lagos than in London over the last 16 months.
For Ebi Atawodi, General Manager of Uber Nigeria the success boils down to adapting the uber model to suit the needs of Lagosians.
One of the biggest challenges uber encountered in Nigeria's most populous city was the issue of fuel scarcity which has virtually plagued the whole nation in recent times but even this seemingly difficult problem has been tackled by uber's partnering with with local gas money stations to enable some uber drivers to skip the long queues.
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"We see that a lot of people who maybe were taking one or two trips a week are now taking way more. Why go through the hassle of finding petrol when you can take an Uber," she says.
Atawodi says the fuel crisis has, in some cases, encouraged Lagos residents to rely on Uber rather than trying to fill up their own cars.
Another challenge Uber had to contend with was the apparent reluctancy with which many Nigerians approached the online transport platform.
In the words of Atawodi "People were like 'what is this Uber thing? And why should I put my card on?' But I think over time, that sort of reticence or reluctance to putting card details on has completely gone away."
Whether you like it or not Uber Nigeria is growing and in other ways, too. Atawodi says she's looking to add on-demand services, such as food and gift delivery perhaps to bake a more scintillating mix.