Uber has announced the expansion of its operations in Nigeria extending to Owerri, Imo state, and Akure, in Ondo state.

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The addition takes Uber’s presence to 11 Nigerian cities among the 18 cities across West Africa.

The ride-hailing company said these expansions signal more access to earning opportunities for drivers and affordable, convenient, and reliable mobility solutions for riders, at the tap of a button.

It also introduced a range of new products, updates, and features focused on travel, safety, and delivery services in Nigeria and across Sub-Saharan Africa, to help reduce costs for riders and increase demand for drivers.

The new products include UberX Saver, which Uber said is launched in Port Harcourt to help reduce costs for riders and increase demand for drivers around the state.

UberX Saver provides an avenue for drivers to earn more by raising the chances of trips even during off-peak times so that they do not need to stop driving during less busy times.

Uber also announced that users in Port Harcourt and Ibadan will soon be able to send parcels and goods from one consumer or small business to another, as it has concluded plans to launch Uber Connect in the cities.

The service was successfully rolled out, first in other markets in Sub-Saharan Africa including Lagos, Nigeria Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa.

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On the safety front, Uber also announced a collaboration with Sety, a vetted private security response company, to provide users with emergency assistance if required on a trip. This means that drivers and riders will have access to a vetted private security response unit, which is closest to their location, using a connected device.

This service is imperative, considering that ridesharing has become a way of life for more people.

Uber promised never to stop raising the bar on safety and has a range of features that take advantage of the latest smartphone technology to ensure that riders and drivers feel safe.

The company also said that based on research, it discovered that most riders seem to be unaware of the safety features available to them, and therefore launched a Safety Check-up across SSA. The feature will encourage riders to complete their safety profile by turning on and utilizing the available features such as Trusted Contacts, PIN verification, and RideCheck, among others.

Country Manager, Uber Nigeria, Tope Akinwumi, said: “We are committed to Nigeria, which is a key contributor to the growth of our business in Sub-Saharan Africa. We’re passionate about helping people move and discover their city with ease and helping drivers increase earning opportunities.

Uber Country Manager, Tope Akinwumi
Uber Country Manager, Tope Akinwumi

“Our commitment to safety goes beyond the app. This is the reason we have partnered with Sety to provide on-demand security and medical responses” he added.

This is also while General Manager for Uber SSA, Kagiso Khaole said: “Our aspiration is to move more people and goods to more cities, innovate new features and products, raise the bar on safety, explore categories beyond the food category and grow earnings opportunities.”