Unlawful Selling Of Bolt Accounts In Nigeria


June 1, 2022, 3:12 p.m.

Bolt drivers in Nigeria are illicitly selling their accounts, putting passengers at risk, according to Rest of World. The situation was brought to light when Juliet Nnaji, a 23-year-old content creator, ordered Bolt on March 5.

As sited on Rest of World, Juliet had asked the driver to pull over a few blocks from her final destination, but the driver became angry. Moments later, he left her in an unfamiliar area, hurled insults at her, smacked her across the face twice, and threw her bag out, all in the glare of witnesses.

“The next thing I saw was a punch on my face,” she said. He punched again in front of several witnesses and threw my bag out of the car, damaging my phone. In my wildest dream, I never expected that he would do that.”

Although Nnaji reported the incident to Bolt, the ride-hailing company did nothing about the situation. Instead, they responded with a mail, “We hope you try to be more careful next time.”

Bolt was launched in 2013 but expanded to Nigeria (Lagos) in 2016 to offer affordable, safe, fast ridings and take the hassle away from moving around, but that looks different presently. Unlike its competitor, Uber, Bolt performs only minimal background checks on drivers. Additionally, Bolt doesn’t follow these requirements as closely. In some cases, Bolt allowed individuals without vehicles to register as drivers, said Abisola Koleowo, founder of WaveUs Transit, a Lagos-based logistics operator who has been onboarding former Bolt drivers in recent months. Bolt’s vehicle inspection previously only occurred once a year until it was increased to three times a year last year, said Oni.

Bolt’s negligence has led to corrupted drivers selling their verified accounts to third parties via WhatsApp, Telegram, and Facebook. Some drivers sell their accounts when they quit or switch jobs, while others sell when they need money. It is cheap, sometimes going for as little as $72. The practice is frequent on Bolt, and some people have turned the practice of buying accounts into a business, recruiting people to create accounts for resale.

Bolt did not respond directly to Rest of World’s request for comment about criminal activities associated with its app or drivers’ identity verification. Still, a spokesperson said the company takes issues of “misconduct directed towards e-hailing passengers and drivers very seriously.”

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Verny Joy Author

Verny loves to write poetry, fiction and quotes. Her love for writing landed her in journalism. She loves gadgets and travelling to explore new places.