With the rising rate of unemployment among Nigerian youths, leveraging driver–share technology and adapting to local conditions provided by transport apps are enabling users to cut through gridlocks while creating jobs on a driver-sharing scheme.
One of such transport app that provides driver-sharing scheme in Nigeria is Taxify, which is aggressively expanding its African footprint. In addition to its presence in Lagos, and Abuja, it is present in over six African cities and over 30 cities across Europe, the Middle East and Central America.
With the ecosystem provided by Taxify, the ride-hailing technology has managed to create a dignified, efficient, flexible and effective vehicle for job creation.
Driver partners on the Taxify platform talked about the ease of driving, the flexible hours that makes it an option for not just the unemployed but also for the underemployed.
One of the driver partners on the Taxify platform, Kehinde Adegbite, says, “I was on another ride-hailing platform before now and we were badly treated and we were down. So, the coming on board of Taxify has been awesome.”
According to him, Taxify came when he was down. “It has empowered us. Working with Taxify is the best for any driver partner now. The commission is just unbeatable”.
“Taxify takes only 15 per cent commission in contrast to competitions 25 per cent and also constantly provide drivers with bonuses to further supplement their earnings,” said Adegbite.
A female driver partner on Taxify, Victoria Igein, on her part said, “I’ve been working with Taxify for a year now; it has been the only e-sharing driver’s platform I have worked with since I lost my job in Abuja as a banker and came back to Lagos. It took me a while to get my current job, which I shuffle with being a Taxify driver, but I have been able to manage both thus far.”
Findings from a three-month research conducted recently by an indigenous communications and public relations company, Plexus Media Interlinks Limited, shows that about 2,000 people who are out of school and seeking employment have taken to Taxify as a viable platform to be self-employed.
The study further shows that one in 10 unemployed graduates are considering getting on the app to earn a living, or may have commenced the process to be signed on the platform as driver partners.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says the country’s unemployment rate rose from 14.2 percent to 18.8 percent in 2017. It also said that Nigeria’s labour population increased from 83.9 million in the second quarter to 85.1 million in the third quarter of 2017, a difference of 1.2million in additional workforce.
Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, was hard hit by a sharp drop in oil price by mid-2014 and a severe dollar shortage that emasculated business activities.
Consequently, manufacturers were forced to trim workforce as inability to import raw materials to meet production demands undermined cash flows while banks were squeezed because valued customers became bankrupt.
Furthermore, in 2016, the country slipped into its first recession in 25 years, exacerbated by militant attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta region.
However, the country existed the recession as the economy expanded by 0.55 percent and 1.40 percent in the first and second quarters of 2017 according to the NBS, thanks to a rebound in oil production and price, and the adoption of a flexible exchange rate by the central bank.
Analysts are of the view that while external reserves have crossed the $40 billion mark since the 2014 lows, the uptick in economic activities will only make a meaning if it translates to job creation as poverty continues to ravage the vast majority of Nigerians.