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Uber Lagos drivers not accepting your rides? Here’s Why!

Everyone has a story about Uber Lagos drivers. Some quite pleasant, others I’ll leave to your imagination.
They were once reported to use an app called ‘Lockito’ to deceptively inflate trip fares.
Now, several riders have complained about a new trend where Uber drivers in Lagos accept ride requests but never show up at the rider’s location. These drivers are also known to absolutely reject rides.


Devesh, a Lagos resident took to Instagram to share his experience with an Uber driver in town. According to him, his Uber driver did not arrive his location and cancelled the trip after making him wait for 20 minutes.

Another rider, Rich Tanskley, an American expat living in Lagos shared his own experience in a Linkedin article:


I disputed a cancellation fee the other day because after 30 minutes I got tired of watching the driver drive everywhere but towards me’



Incidents like these have come to be the experience of the average Uber rider in Lagos.

uber lagos

I myself have had a bitter taste with Uber drivers in Lagos. On a particular Saturday, I attended a private party for expats at a restaurant in Lekki Phase 1.


I stayed out having fun and networking until late and when it was time to go home, I booked an Uber. I sat casually sipping Margarita while waiting for my driver to arrive.

15 minutes passed and I went from being calm and patient to feeling unease in the stomach as I realized it was getting really late and my Uber driver was yet to arrive. By now, only a handful of guests were left hanging around.

I waited some more and to my dismay, the driver never called, never arrived and when I called, his number was switched off. Ooops!

I won’t tell you how I got home that night. That’s not the story for today.

Back to our topic, I kept wondering the reason for this behaviour among Uber Lagos drivers. I went digging and interviewed a couple of them. ย 

I found out there are 2 primary reasons Uber Lagos drivers do not accept rides. They are:

Defiant drivers:

When Uber first arrived in Lagos, they used to charge 15% commission from drivers. Along the line, Uber then reviewed their prices, reducing the fares for riders by 25% and then later, increasing its commission from drivers to 25%.


This did not go down well with the drivers who have now been earning less on the platform and are somehow protesting against Uber. Drivers in Lagos now see driving on Uber as less profitable, especially for short distance trips. This could be the reason why they accept rides and never show up.

Surge pricing:

If an Uber driver is not accepting your ride, it may mean the driver is hoping for a surge. During surge, trip fares are usually 1.2 – 3 times higher than usual and these drivers love surge.

They’d rather reject your ride and wait for a surge than accept  your ride and embark on a trip only for a surge to happen.

Of course there may be other reasons why Uber Lagos drivers do not accept rides but these are the two major reasons we are aware of for now.

Do you have other reasons why Uber drivers in Lagos do no accept requests, we’d like to hear from you in the comments area.

Do you use Uber for transportaion in Lagos? What has your experience been so far?

Read also: How to survive traffic in Lagos.

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5 Comments

  1. Eniola

    October 25, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    This is very insighftul and educative. The storytelling skills got me stuck to reading till the end. Great work.

    1. Olumuyiwa George

      October 26, 2018 at 5:04 am

      Thanks Eni. Cheers

  2. Adaobi Iwenjora

    October 29, 2018 at 6:59 am

    I have so many pleasant experiences with Uber drivers. I noticed that they don’t like doing short distances. They would rather ignore your calls. My worst experience was with a driver, who told me very rudely that, I could not brush my hair in his car.
    I love Uber. No maintenance just get in and have a smooth ride.

    1. Olumuyiwa George

      October 29, 2018 at 3:53 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Adaobi. Like we said earlier in the article, it’s different experiences for different people.

  3. Abigail

    October 29, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    I was delayed by a driver yesterday. Uber showed 5min away and the driver did not get to me till 30min later because I ran into a traffic that hinder from getting to my place of appointment and even at that my fare from Victoria Island to my 56 Kano street which is usually less than 2,000 run into above 8,000.
    This is so so unfair. This transaction is pending because i have to fund my card and I cant access funds till monday, now I cant use the service.I am really disssatisfied

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