Drivers of yellow taxis in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre, who were largely put out of business when ride-hailing companies like Uber and Bolt came on the scene, may have found a lifeline with a new app designed for them by Univasa Nigeria Limited.
The application named “Baba Dey Online” was launched on Monday, Dec. 7, by Univasa, an information technology company. The app has the same features as other popular ride-hailing platforms and it can be downloaded on IOS and Google PlayStore.
Univasa launched the app in partnership with the Lagos State Taxi Drivers and Cab Operators Association (LSTDCOA). The association lamented that many of its members have abandoned the business due to low patronage and the discrimination they face in accessing some roads and estates in the city, including the local and international airports. Meanwhile, drivers on the Uber and Bolt platforms are reportedly allowed to operate in these locations.
Omolekan Taiwo, the president of LSTDCOA, said it has become inevitable for the traditional cab drivers to embrace technology if they are going to have any chance of survival in the transportation business.
“Univasa taxi apps came onboard at the right time since technology is now the ultimate, we are ready to embrace univasa taxi apps for all our drivers and the general public for usage, we are going to bring back all our members that have left the association due to lack of technologies based apps into our folds”, Taiwo said at the launch of the new ride-hailing app.
Driven by “hunger for innovation and technology”, Univasa said it will continue to make efforts to support the drivers. The company said it will provide the drivers with mobile devices and newest-model cars through some partnership deals.
According to Univasa CEO, Ben Adeniyi, the problem of discrimination will be resolved to give all ride-hailing operators a level playing field. He said the company will also train the relatively uneducated and aged drivers on how to use the app.
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