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E-hailing drivers reject reviewed Lagos ride-hailing regulation

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A downward review of the licence fee and service tax on e-hailing operators by the Lagos State Government has been rejected by the drivers under the auspices of Professional E-Hailing Drivers & Private-Owners Association.

In a statement seen by The Guardian, Ayoade Ibrahim, the president of the National Union of Professional App-Based Workers said the government decision “is not only exploitative but also inconsiderate to the plight of app based Workers.”

Lagos State government on Friday reversed the 20 per cent service charge it planned to impose on every trip made by e-hailing platforms like Uber and Bolt.

The state commissioner for transport, Frederic Oladeinde, said the state government will now charge N20 per trip instead of 20 per cent of the charges for each trip.

Oladeinde also revealed that the state has approved 20 per cent reduction in the operating and renewal license fees, aside drivers completing their documentation within the next 90 days.

He disclosed that commencement date for the implementation of the regulations on the operators has been postponed by a week to August 27, 2020.

But Ibrahim said, “app based Workers reject this resolution in its entirety as it is believed to have been reached in bad faith.”

Under the new regulation, the drivers need to fulfil some documentation, the government said is aimed at enhancing the safety of riders. The drivers are expected to have a Lagos State Drivers’ Institute (LASDRI) card and a driver badge issued by the Department of Public Transport and Commuter Services of the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation.

Ibrahim told The Guardian that these documentations will cost almost N200,000 apart from a Hackney permit and other regular government papers for car registration.

He said the registrations imposed by the Lagos government is “not only laughable but unknown to Nigeria Law”

Way forward?

While Ibrahim maintained that a meeting with all “stakeholders to furnish [sic] out a better workable approach” be called by the state government, he said Uber has also called for a meeting with the drivers.

The meeting is scheduled to hold on different days in a bid to comply with the COVID-19 protocols against the mass gathering of people.

Ibrahim said one of the agenda of the meeting is to discuss how the two parties can work out the government policies. Although the platform seems to have agreed with the new regulations.

“Any new drivers or vehicles will need all documents to be uploaded before a driver can go online,” Uber said in a message sent to its drivers after the regulations were reviewed.

“For existing partners and vehicles the new requirements will be enforced in a staggered approach over the next 12-18 weeks.”

But Ibrahim said Uber called the meeting because “they can not totally agree” with the regulations.


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