The use of private cars for commercial purpose has been in existence for a very long time though with cheap and rickety vehicles then. But this time around, the business has assumed an advanced and modernized stage when the use of clean and very expensive rides has become the order of the day.
Not only that, more and more operators keep evolving daily with their intimidating automobiles flooding different parts of Lagos state and other parts of the country.
However, the reasons the trade is enjoying robust attention at the moment are not unconnected with high unemployment rate and dwindling economic situation of the country.
ENCOMIUM Weekly went round some parts of Lagos state, and some cab operators we spoke to also confirmed the ugly scenario…
Yes, there are more people joining cab business even with very beautiful cars unlike years back when the operators were using rickety cars. I was working somewhere before I retired. But I have been a transporter for quite a while.
Even I have about 20 tricycles I control here in Ikeja. Yet, I still use my private car for commercial purpose. A lot of people prefer private cars like this to a taxis wearing Lagos colour. But the fact still remains that if the economy is good and I am doing well in any other business, I wouldn’t like to convert my private car to a cab. And it’s not every time we come here that we make money. We may be here for hours even till the day closes, people may not patronize you. If by tomorrow somebody raises me with enough cash, I will leave the business and find something else to do. Let our government find solution to all these skyrocketing exchange rate, unemployment and epileptic power supply, I believe you won’t find most people in this business again. It’s your car, it should be for your enjoyment but now as you can see our cars are no longer for pleasure. They have become means of livelihood.
If I get N500,000 today, I will stop this job. Not that I really like it but just to make ends meet which is even very difficult to achieve here. At times, we find it difficult to make a trip out of this spot per day. And we have families waiting for us at home.
The country’s economy has destroyed so many things. Being Igbo, I love business. I know what I can do with N500,000 that will be fetching extra money daily and won’t be this stressful.
I resigned from my place of work and I turned my private car (KIA car) to a cab but since I joined the business a couple of years back, it has been full of ups and downs. To me, it’s not lucrative venturing into cab business but no matter how we see it, it’s still better than staying at home. The situation got worse since about three months back due to lack of money in circulation. We pray President Muhammedu Buhari finds solution to Nigeria’s staggering economy before everything gets out of control.
I have been in business for about 10 years. I must tell you the truth, running a taxi cab is not profitable anymore especially when you’re operating a Lagos colour taxi cab because you will have to contend with a lot of issues, including fines, ticket fees, extortion and all that which when you add up everything, it may even exceed the amount you made that day. Police also harass us almost every time. We don’t really enjoy the job!
That’s why those of us who have private cars now use them as cabs because it’s safer and more convenient and there will be little or no harassment and undue extortion. Even at that, we don’t really make much money per day because of the poor economy. And since Keke Marwa or NAPEP (tricycles) are all over the place now, it has rubbished the business.
A lot of people now prefer to charter tricycles instead of cars because of the charges. Most people at times won’t mind the convenience, they will just opt for a cheaper alternative.
That’s why you see us on the queue from morning till evening. At times, you may not go home with N1,000. But being in business, one can’t easily predict when you may be lucky. That’s why we still remain in the business. But if I get enough money, I will quit the job and be using my car for pleasure.
Not that I really love using my car for this kind of purpose but since I was sacked where I worked, I just have to covert what I have to get my daily needs. I am married with four kids, and they’re all in school. If I keep waiting for alternative job for three years, who will be paying my children’s school fees. I believe half bread is better than none.
At least, I make a minimum of N10,000 per week after all the ticket fees and other miscellaneous payments. I just discovered that keeping the car at home is just like wasting resource. And how would I be getting money to fuel it since I am out of job. But in all, I believe things can still be better.
If I get a meaningful employment tomorrow, I will quit. I still have my certificate with me lying fallow.
Running a cab business is not something I love doing but I don’t have a choice. I graduated from university seven years ago, but I have never been gainfully employed. A friend of mine bought this car for me for commercial purpose. Being a very neat car, people prefer to charter it even to Ibadan, Abeokuta but I prefer using it within Lagos because of fear of uncertainty.
It’s very hard at times making N30,000 per week. Even, I may not get as much as N20,000 in a week. But the situation in the country has compelled me to appreciate the job. If I get a better job tomorrow I will stop. But I appreciate what my friend did for me because not all friends can do that. At least, with this, I am taking care of my family.
I was into spare parts business but I left when my shop was demolished by the government of Babatunde Raji Fashola. Since then, I just bought this Toyota Camry particularly for commercial purpose. I discovered that people prefer a private cab to taxi. That’s why I didn’t repaint it to Lagos colour. I don’t regret going into the business because I won’t exceed my limit. I come out early and close late in the evening. I believe business can’t flow the same way day in day out. So, I don’t blame myself for not making it any day such happens.
But I still plan to go back to my previous business because that’s where I can make enough money.
I live in Ikotun but I work here in Ikeja. Most times I close late because we don’t really get passengers during the day. Those that patronize us the most are the people returning from work very late. At that time, they won’t negotiate any amount we charge them. But the only disadvantage of it is that some people are afraid of taking private cars, especially in the night because of the fear of being kidnapped.
At times, you see some of us here at 2am. We make more money at that period than during the day but it’s also risky. I started in 2014, but my plan is to go into big business if I make enough money from the cab operation.
I joined this park towards the end of last year. I think the reason we have more private cars in the business is lack of employment. There is no job anywhere now. I was in Abuja before I relocated to Lagos. And on getting here, I couldn’t find a job. Then, a friend of mine introduced me to the man that sold this car to me and I am paying for it installmentally before it will finally become mine. I was advised not to change the colour to taxi because of undue harassment and extortion by the police and some other authorities who may be imposing tickets and fines along the route. And I can ply any route even outside Lagos state. But not much money is realized per day because of the poor economic situation of the country.