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Business News of Wednesday, 24 May 2023


Firm offers insurance policies to drivers

Insurance policy Insurance policy

A group of Nigerians has developed the first indigenous e-hailing taxis app that is designed to offer insurance coverage for its drivers and provide cheap charges to passengers.

Unveiling the Gab taxis in Abuja, the Chief Executive of E.F Network Limited, Gideon Egbuchulam, said more than 30 highly-qualified local software engineers, some trained in and outside Nigeria developed Gab taxis.

He noted that Gab taxis would offer its drivers disability and death insurance to provide succour to them and their dependents in case the inevitable happens or if they sustain temporary or permanent injuries.

Egbuchulam has been developing different products including e-commerce, internet, lost phone locator, car trackers, safe school personal trackers, phones, security gadgets and electronics since 1995.

While Egbuchulam stated that building a taxi app of the world-class standard was not an easy task, he hinted that the app would be launched in some African countries next month.

“This would earn Nigeria government foreign currency that is now very scary to get in Nigeria. Our agenda for 2024 is to enter America, Europe and Asia,” he revealed.

He further stated that the decision to launch Nigeria’s first indigenous taxi app was influenced by how Nigerian drivers are being treated by foreign taxi apps.

“I was touched when I saw Nigerian taxi drivers lamenting on how some of the foreign e-hailing companies were treating them as if they are insignificant or that they were doing Nigerians a favour when it was the other way round.”

I was told that some of these foreign operators were so ridiculous they even stopped Nigerians from using their apps if they complained. Most of the drivers are graduates with no other jobs. Foreign taxi companies collect from 25 to 30 per cent commission from each ride. We even doubt if they are paying taxes in Nigeria or paying what they ought to pay. In many areas you can find them, they use filling stations as offices,” he said.

Egbuchulam said the Gab taxis will take 15 per cent from its drivers which is the lowest around the world. He explained that the reason for collecting 15 per cent is to give drivers the comfort of being able to afford money to buy fuel and most of the time waiting.

“Imagine a situation where we have fuel scarcity and some of the drivers stay on cues sometimes overnight to buy fuel for their cars, repair their cars, and in some cases may have less than three passengers a day. So when you deduct the costs of fuel and repairs, most drivers hardly go home with 30 per cent in a day, these foreigners were making more than Nigerian drivers per day,” he added.

Egbuchulam lauded the Federal Government for granting e-hailing drivers’ union status, which empowers them to negotiate their future.

He insisted that ride-hailing services have transformed the transportation industry by offering passengers a convenient and affordable alternative to traditional taxis and public transportation.

However, he observed that with many companies in the space, it can be challenging for new startups to stand out from the competition, saying Gab Taxis is a ride-hailing company whose aim is to offer affordable and safe transportation services with a unique set of features.