Uber has announced that it would temporarily shut down its operations in Nigeria following the Federal Government lockdown directive across its revenue-driven routes in the country.
In a statement issued by the company and obtained by Nairametrics in Tuesday, the Uber disclosed that its operations would no longer be available for the next 14 days following the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to restrict movement in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun States.
The directive was given after the confirmed cases of Coronavirus increased within these states, and spread across nine other states. According to President Buhari, only companies that render essential services would be allowed to operate in the states.
It added that the suspension of the activities could be more than 14 days depending on further guidelines released by the Nigerian government.
“As announced by President Muhammadu Buhari on March 29, 2020, there will be a restriction of all movement within Lagos and Abuja during the 14-day lockdown which begins at 11 pm on Monday, 30th March.
“Based on this directive, Uber will temporarily cease operations for the period of the lockdown, subject to any further government announcements. Our hearts go out to everyone affected by COVID-19 in Nigeria,” it stated.
There’s a problem: If Uber shuts down its services in Nigeria, how will the workers of companies providing essential services get to their various offices, as hailing Uber is generally believed to be safer than taking public transportation (commercial buses), especially if the workers are observing the recommended social distance.
Meanwhile, Uber had stated after COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria that drivers on its platform would continue catering to the transportation of essential services, as they would be adequately compensated.
For drivers infected with COVID-19, Uber said it would provide financial aid for them as they are expected to go to public health authorities to self-isolate. The Company said the financial aid would be given for 14 days.