The Governor of Lagos claims he launched UberBoats in the city. We decided to Factcheck

Uber General Manager for West Africa, Lola Kassim, (left) with the Governor of Lagos (right)
  • Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu laid out his plans to reduce traffic congestion in the state in an October 16th Twitter thread with the hashtag #SolvingLagosTraffic
  • In the thread, he claimed sole responsibility for launching UberBoats in Lagos with the aim of diversifying modes of transportation using the Lagos waterways
  • Business Insider SSA decided to factcheck this claim for accuracy

"I did it my way" - Frank Sinatra

In an effort to pacify agitated Lagos commuters, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu laid out his plans to decongest traffic in a Twitter thread with the hashtag #SolvingLagosTraffic

While presenting the Lagos waterways as an alternative to road transportation, Mr Sanwo-Olu took sole credit for launching UberBoats. Was this an accurate claim?

Uber already announced four months ago that the Boat service was coming to Lagos

Back in June, Uber's Chief Business officer told Reuters about their plans to launch a Boat service in Lagos. The collaborations they mentioned to make the venture possible were with Texas Connection Ferries and the Lagos State Waterways Authority. The Lagos Governor was not mentioned.

UberBoats has launched in other countries where Governors played no role

From the USA to Croatia to Mumbai, UberBoats has already been up and running. The company has always had a plan to offer its ride-hailing service via different modes of transportation.

UberBoats in Lagos will not solve decongestion of road traffic

In a prior Business Insider SSA article on the Boat launch, we described the capacity limitations due to the service being a pilot program for only two weeks with just two boats and one roundtrip destination. The Governor did not disclose this in his tweets.

Verdict: The Governor made a misleading statement

The Governor can be forgiven for trying to take advantage of any and every opportunity to show Lagosians that he is working to reduce their traffic headaches. This led him to claim sole ownership of a launch in an effort to look strategic for the benefit of his constituents. To his credit, Business Insider SSA can attest to bad roads already being fixed and urges Lagosians to use the Governor's hashtag to let him know that work is proceeding as planned.

We still have quite a way to go.


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