Unemployment and underemployment are worrying concerns in Nigeria for both the government and citizens alike.
According to the unemployment report released by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, the number of people within the labor force who are unemployed or underemployed increased from 13.6 million and 17.7 million respectively in Q2 2017, to 15.9 million and 18.0 million in Q3 2017.
The statistics above show that unemployment and underemployment is a major problem plaguing Nigeria.
Metro Africa Xpress (MAX) founded by two MIT Alumni, Adetayo Bamiduro and Chinedu Azodoh in 2015 through one of its services, MAX Okada is playing a role in changing the narrative.
MAX Okada is an on-demand motorbike-hailing app that helps Lagosians book at least 200 cc motorcycle rides from their mobile phones.
Using technology as a means of social impact, MAX Okada has created jobs for motorcycle riders and improved their livelihoods. MAX Okada motorcycle riders are called Champions.
According to Ized Uanikhehi, Director of Marketing, PR, and Growth at MAX, These “Champions” are the first customers of MAX.
MAX Champions are not like the regular motorcycle riders across the streets of Lagos State. They are usually trained professionally to transport passengers safely, obey all traffic rules and put in their best at all times even outside work. The MAX Champion is usually on a Hire purchase agreement. They own the motorcycle after 10 – 12 months. Each Champion is given a mobile phone, jacket, hairnets, and helmets. They are also given Medical Insurance.
MAX Champions are usually spotted around the city of Lagos riding yellow motorcycles and wearing yellow helmets. They make about twice the amount of money the average dispatch rider in Lagos earns monthly.
The impact MAX Okada has made on each champion is immense. The Champions can now fend for themselves and their families, pay bills and be assured at the end of each day that they have a steady means of earning a living.
According to Michael Ehiguina, a MAX Champion, before he became a champion, he did not know that he could make as much money as he is currently earning. He further stated that as a result of being a MAX Champion, he has a motorcycle of his own and moved from a single room apartment to a 3 bedroom flat.
At the moment, MAX Okada might not be solving up to 20% of the challenges unemployment is causing in Lagos but the social impact of the service is highly commendable. The Champions will always be grateful to MAX Okada for helping them live better lives.