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We’ll Continue To Open ‘Support Hubs’ Across Africa- Lits



Alon Lits, Uber GM SSA

By peter oluka

September, Uber celebrated four years on the African continent, and with more than 1.8 million active riders using the app since Uber’s launch in Johannesburg in September 2013, it’s clear that Uber has achieved a lot in a short timeframe.

Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has certainly benefitted from Uber’s arrival. Citizens have a new, reliable way to get around, entrepreneurs have found a new way to earn an income and cities have also benefitted – with possibly less cars on the road and therefore less carbon emissions.

A Look At Driver-Partners

In a region of high unemployment and stagnating economic prospects¹, Uber’s business partnership approach provides an accessible means for entrepreneurs to not only supplement their own income, but also to become small business owners, thereby helping to improve the lives and futures of individuals, families and communities.

The steadily growing number of Uber driver-partners in countries across the region is testament to the appeal of the model, because it creates real opportunities for local entrepreneurs. And as demand for rides also grows, so does the demand for driver-partners.

“Currently we have more than 29 000 driver-partners taking advantage of Uber’s earning opportunities. Drivers love being as flexible as they like; earning what they want, when they want, whether it’s a full-time entrepreneur or someone looking to supplement their income,” said Alon Lits, Uber general manager for Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Ongoing commitment to our driver-partners is a key priority; ensuring they receive the latest in technological innovations means they can be at the top of their game,” added Lits.

Uber continues to open support hubs across the continent to ensure driver-partners are well-equipped. Apart from existing hubs across the continent, three more of these state-of-the-art Greenlight Hubs were opened in Dar Es Salaam, Nairobi, Kampala, Kumasi and Lagos this year and, in addition to offering driver-partners technical and app support, Uber also offers information sessions and workshops to driver-partners.

A Look At Riders

The 1.8 million active riders using the app since Uber’s launch on the continent is testament to the new mode of transport that riders are embracing. Which is not hard to believe when with Uber, riders have access to safety features such as driver and vehicle identification, In-App help, GPS and feedback post each trip.

Uber has brought many benefits to riders that did not exist before Uber – from its GPS tracking and 24/7 support, to new technologies being added, such as ‘scheduled trips’, as the business develops.

Repeat Uber usage in South Africa is a prime example of shifting private transport perceptions. This month more than 25 000 South Africans each used Uber more than 10 times a week, which points to the increasing adoption of this tech-driven solution, not just as a leisure transport option, but also for work and business purposes.

And while riders and drivers benefit, Uber continues to keep social and environmental needs at the fore

This year alone, Uber has used its network to support and assist those in need. In March UberCommunity was quickly activated for the thousands of victims of the terrible Hout Bay fires in Cape Town, South Africa. UberCommunity allowed riders to request a car to collect items for donation to the people and animals impacted. In June, UberCommunity again assisted the thousands affected by the Cape storms and the Knysna-Plett fires in South Africa.

Similarly, in September last year, Uber assisted a local Nigerian business in Lagos after devastating destruction, by uniting with the local community to help Nuli Juice continue its operations. And across East Africa in early December, thousands of riders contributed to SOS Children’s Villages through an app donation dive dubbed UBERGIVING.

Importantly, Uber’s approach to shifting perspectives of how people in sub-Saharan Africa move around their cities is one of partnership with all stakeholders. Uber strives at all times to collaborate closely with local regulators to understand the challenges they are grappling with in their cities and then help them to develop workable and accessible solutions that benefit people and economies. It’s with this in mind that Uber has just launched UberMovement in Johannesburg, a new website to help urban planners, city leaders, third parties and the public better understand the transportation needs of their cities.

“Four years have gone by incredibly quickly. We’ve learnt and grown; we look back at our time in sub-Saharan Africa with pride because we’ve achieved so much and look forward to what’s next to come”, concludes Lits.

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NIPOST Launches Cargo Haulage Service, E-commerce



The Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) has inaugurated two new products, “Cargo Haulage Service and E-Commerce’’.

Mrs Nkiru Onaga, Deputy Manager, E-commerce and Logistics, NIPOST South East, performed the inauguration on Thursday at the ongoing 29th Enugu International Trade Fair.

The fair was organised by the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA).

She said e-commerce and logistics were some of the latest services NIPOST was rendering to participants at the fair.

Onaga said inaugurating such services at the fair was one of the high points of the event, as exhibitors would no longer worry about how to ferry their goods to the desired destinations at the end of the fair.

“We have arrays of products and services here but most importantly e-commerce and logistics. Logistics means cargo haulage. You can haul your goods or parcel no matter how cumbersome from one end to another.

“We are professionals inexpertise to deliver,” she said.

According to her, inquiries about our services at the fair have been on the rise, as NIPOST has been repositioned to serve Nigerians better.

Onaga explained that the services were affordable and serving participants at the fair effectively.

Other services available at NIPOST stand include e-money services, speed post services and sales of stamps.

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NIPOST Launches e-money Service at Enugu Trade Fair



The Nigerian Postal Service has launched its Electronic online Money Order Service at the ongoing 29th Enugu International Trade Fair.

The NIPOST Post-cash is the only medium through which participants at the fair send and receive money as there are no other banking services in the complex.

Mr Irmiya Kylawe, General Manager, Marketing Department of NIPOST, said that the service had been making brisk businesses sending and paying their customers at the fair.

Kylawe said that the process was an instant one stop shop of sending and receiving money across the country.

He described the post-cash as efficient and reliable, adding that the patronage had been high since the fair began.

The general manager said that post-cash was one of the innovations and products introduced to revive NIPOST and make it competitive.

“There are lots of services that we are rendering here through reinvention of our old products.

“You can see that participants at the fair have been paying and even receiving money by using our Point of Sales (POS).

“This is the only banking service in the trade fair for now and it is serving them,” he said.

Kylawe said that the innovations became necessary in order to attract people back to the products of NIPOST.

Also, Mr Willie Ekong, NIPOST Zonal Manager, South-East, said that the service had been effectively repositioned for the attainment of strategic importance, operational efficiency and financial aggression.

Ekong said that the ongoing restructuring was to take their services to the door steps of Nigerians, thereby, enhancing postal penetration, affordability and accessibility.

He said that the volume of mails being collected at NIPOST was on the increase.

“Do not think that advent in technology is a threat. It only plays complementary role to what we do,” he said.

He said that funding had been the major challenge of NIPOST but assured that the Postal Bill currently before the National Assembly would further remove the remaining bottlenecks in their operations.

“The Postal Bill will be an added impetus in taking the post to the desired level. The bill has two major components.

“We are not thinking of privatising the post, rather the bill is to make NIPOST highly commercialised to enhance mercantile and create an independent regulator,” he said.

Ekong said that the independent regulator would regulate the activities of courier companies.

“We need to regulate the courier services and see that NIPOST as a national carrier is not embarking on extortion of money from Nigerians,” Ekong said.

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SAHCOL Truck Bumps into Arik Aircraft, Another Grounded in Owerri



Arik Air has reported to Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) the incidents involving its aircraft and Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCOL) which occurred on Sunday, when SAHCOL step ramped into their Boeing 737-700 at MMA2 in Lagos.


The company said that this is in line with standard operating procedure and safety standards.



The aircraft, which was scheduled to operate W3 744 (Lagos-Port Harcourt), had its left side leading edge of horizontal stabilizer damaged.



They said that another aircraft was provided immediately for the Port-Harcourt bound passengers. Our team of engineers later fixed the damaged aircraft which has since returned to service.



In the second incident, the airline’s Bombardier CRJ900 marked 5N-JEB, operating Owerri-Lagos flight has been grounded at the Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri.



This is as a result of technical issue on ground at the Sam Mbakwe airport in Owerri during pre-departure procedure.



A relief aircraft was immediately sent to Owerri to take the already checked in passengers to Lagos with minimum delay.



“We apologize to our customers on the flight for the inconveniences they might have experienced as a result of the incident.



“We remain committed to our safety policy, high operating standard and customer service.

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