E-hailing workers livelihood experiences in Nigeria
E-hailing workers livelihood experiences in NigeriaAugust 12, 2020 •
Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and one of the largest e-hailing markets in Africa. By the end of 2020, the country’s digital ride-hailing or e-hailing market is expected to generate USD292 million in revenue and account for 15% of the African continent’s 48.6 million e-hailing user base. Uber’s entry to Nigeria in 2014 served as catalyst for this industry to take off. Since then, a large number of local start-ups have launched operations, reshaping the way we think about personal mobility and work in the country’s transport sector.
Building on our supply-side research on the global e-hailing industry, we zoom in on the Nigerian market, drawing on first-hand accounts of e-hailing drivers from a limited-sample survey rolled out in partnership with the Lagos Business School in early 2020. The survey explored the livelihood experiences of this emerging class of digitally-enabled labour, providing colour to their demographics, income and working conditions.
It shows that e-hailing platforms provide a material source of income for drivers, many of who represent Nigeria’s entrepreneurial youth, but that drivers have little free agency to determine their working conditions and face relatively high costs of platform intermediation, with few if any occupational benefits. Moreover, regulatory uncertainty risks stifling investment-led growth in this sector and leaves e-hailing drivers uncertain about their rights.
This note provides transport regulators, labour authorities and the digital platforms mediating e-hailing worker conditions in Nigeria with data-informed insights to help sketch the way forward for regulating the governance systems and policies that are affecting this emerging class of workers.
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