I knew about Uber before it opened shop in Nigeria. But it was my friend Abdullahi Muye who convinced me to take my first trip. Since then, it is mostly what I use to travel around Abuja.
Uber is a taxi service which you can request from your phone. And within minutes (my average has been five minutes) it will pick you up from anywhere you are. And the cars are quite comfortable, because they are in better conditions than the regular taxis.
Here’s how it works:
You register your credit or debit card with Uber using their mobile app. After every trip, they debit your card. So there’s no cash involved in the transaction. Some say that their fare is cheaper than our taxis. But in my experience, it is a bit more expensive. Where I used to go with Abuja taxis and pay between 300 to 400 naira, Uber is 487 naira on my last trip there.
Is this an opportunity for you to make money?
After greetings with the drivers (who are quite courteous), my number one question has always been: “Has it been profitable so far?”
And their answer has always been, yes.
Uber pays car owners every week after taking its cut, which is 25%. From my interview with the drivers and my neighbour who has dedicated two cars to the business, the average profit is N40, 000 per week. That’s N160, 000 per month. This is after you’ve deducted cost of fueling. Included in the cost is also the 20 to 25% that you will pay the driver if you’re not driving the car yourself.
However, if you don’t want to be involved in the daily running of the business, a young Uber driver told me that they registered a company to do the business on behalf of investors.
You give them your car which must not have been manufactured before 2006. They take care of servicing, fueling and the drivers. At the end of the month, they return N100, 000 to you. This way, you would earn less but you also enjoy the convenience of not having to do it yourself. The question to ask is if N100K per month is worth it.
He’s allowed me to share his phone number with anyone interested. But I’m not recommending him, because I met him only once. You have to do your own due diligence.