Ride-hailing company, Uber has announced the expansion of its services to two new cities in Nigeria, Port Harcourt and Ibadan. With this move, Uber’s services will now be available in five cities including Lagos, Abuja and Benin City.
According to Uber, the move is intended to unlock growth opportunities in the cities for drivers who earn and riders who have an affordable, convenient, and reliable transit service.
Speaking on the new development, Tope Akinwumi, Country Manager for Uber Nigeria reiterated Uber’s commitment to be reliable for both riders and drivers.
“We are excited about this announcement as we remain committed to keeping riders moving and drivers earning despite the various challenges brought about by the pandemic. Using the Uber app has become a reliable earnings opportunity in Nigeria. We believe that Uber has the potential to provide an alternative source of income that is pivotal to our efforts to contribute to economic recovery and growth in the country,”
He added that Uber had plans for further expansion.
“We plan to be everywhere. We want to be the option of choice for commuters, looking to get to where they need to quickly, safely and conveniently. With that in mind, any progressive, forward-thinking city is where we want to be. We are excited to launch in Ibadan and Port Harcourt, and look forward to growing our footprint in Nigeria.”
Uber first launched its services in Lagos in 2014. Two years later, it extended its services to Abuja, the nation’s capital. In 2019, the cab-hailing service began operations in Benin city, the capital of Edo.
With just five Nigerian cities, Uber is lagging when compared to its biggest rival, Bolt which currently operates in 24 states. These include Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Owerri, Ado-Ekiti, Bauchi, Uyo, Calabar, Kano, Abeokuta, Enugu, Ibadan and Benin City.
However, while Bolt concentrates on-road services, Uber has also diversified into providing waterways service in Lagos through UberBOAT, its boat taxi service in partnership with Texas Connection Ferries, a Lagos-based ferry transportation service, and the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA).
In Nigeria, UberX has been serving riders for more than 4 years and has provided income for about 20,000 drivers. With this expansion, more Nigerians will have a chance at economic growth.