Monday, January 17, 2022

Precisely on Saturday February 1st, 2020, Lagos State Ministry of Transportation banned the operation of commercial Motorcycles and Tricycles in six major local governments of the state. This policy forced motorcycle haulage operators like Gokada, MaxNg and Oride out of business. Barely 6 months after the same government has rolled out another policy that will frustrate and probably force e-hauling operators like Bolt, Uber and several others out of business with the recently released regulatory documents for taxi operators and ride-hauling operators.

The released regulatory documents which enforcement is scheduled to begin from August 20, 2020, states that Bolt and Uber drivers most have a Lagos State Drivers’ Institute (LASDRI) card, a Driver badge, Hackney permit, pay a license fee of N25million amidst other conditions. The document, titled “Guidelines For On-line Hailing Business Operation of Taxi in Lagos State” gives a breakdown of taxi business operation in the state.

Adeyemi (not his real name), an Uber driver shared his experience with the Local Government officials in Kosofe Local Government Area, on Monday and concluded that Lagos State Government is head bent on frustrating them out of the street of Lagos.

“This government don’t like seeing our cars on the road, they have been doing everything to frustrate us. On Monday, I parked my car in a street very close to Emmanuel High Street along Ogudu road Ojota to buy some stuffs but before I came back, I met two Local government officials who requested for my car key and asked me to enter that I have violated a law. They insisted that I have parked illegally, after several exchange of words, they asked me to pay a fine of N25, 000.00. I begged them and they eventually collected N20, 000.00 from my hand,” says Adeyemi.

Though, ignorant on the part of Adeyemi made him pay such huge amount to individuals who are not establish by any act or gazette of the state to arrest defaulting drivers Still one can not dispute the fact that there are some hoodlums who parade themselves as government officials and use any slight opportunity to extort unsuspecting drivers’ especially commercial drivers who cannot afford to stand the chance of seeing their vehicle impounded.

A bolt driver, Anthony laments that the timing of the new regulations is highly worrisome pointing to the fact that the state is just recovering from the total and partial lockdown effect of COVID-19.

Anthony said; “we have not been able to work normally for some months, even till now the impact of the lockdown is still affecting our business, the rate at which Lagosians patronize us has reduced drastically compare to what it was before the lockdown.”

To collaborates Anthony’s statement that the state economy is just gaining momentum, it will be worthy of note that the ban on social activities is yet to be lifted and except for those who use Uber or Bolt to their place of work no social activities that will require their service.

The regulatory document also shows that Lagos State Taxi Drivers and Cab Operators Association who recently unveiled EkoCab Mobile App to promote transit system in the state would also be affected with the new condition.

A Taxicab must meet the following conditions:

  • All taxicabs must undergo a thorough inspection according to the State’s Road Traffic Law and under a special Taxicab inspection protocol.
  • It must be brand new
  • Where the vehicle is not new, the vehicle must be within the first three years of its manufacture as specified by the manufacturer
  • The capacity of the vehicle must not be less than 1.3cc
  • It must have a completed signed and dated safety features compliance form prescribed by the Ministry
  • The taxicab shall be equipped with taximeter approved by the ministry.

By Ife Adewole

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