LagosRide refutes claim of ‘cabal’ influence, says scheme follows transparent process
The management of LagosRide, a ride-hailing service, has refuted claims of a drivers’ union that the vehicles are only accessible to influential individuals and not willing members of the public.
LagosRide, also known as LagRide is a joint venture between Ibile Holdings, an investment arm of the Lagos State Government, and Zenolynk Technologies, an entity that manages the operation of the empowerment scheme. It was launched in March 2022.
Founder and CEO of Zenolynk Technologies Ltd, Tumi Adeyemi, said the process of applying and benefiting from the LagosRide scheme for drivers has been transparent and accessible to members of the public via social media, their website and office.
“At no point has anyone in government or cabal influenced our operation as being speculated,” Adeyemi told The Guardian. “Lagride is a public empowerment scheme for interested individuals to apply, fulfill the conditions and get the vehicles.
“Government interference in this is almost zero apart from the supervisory role.”
A union called Professional E-hailing Driver and Private-owner Association of Nigeria (PEDPAN) last week alleged that over 1,000 cars acquired for the purpose of the Lagride modern transportation system initiative were not being used for the purpose.
PEDPAN alleged that its members could not access the vehicles due to unreasonable and hostile conditions but Adeyemi said their claim was far from the truth.
“Everything we have done on LagosRide, we have been transparent as possible. Every of our moves, you will see it out there (on social media and website). If you register today on LagosRide you will receive all of this documentation, so it was not hidden.”
Adeyemi disclosed that the union had been discussing with his team since August 2021 but their engagement was discontinued after a faction broke out of the union over allegations of trust in the leadership.
During their onboarding session for drivers in the union, Adeyemi said the condition for accessing each of the vehicles was a 20% down payment of about N1.8million from the total cost of the vehicle for N7.5million.
Other commitments included a fee for training, provision of first aid kits, documentation and a nonrefundable N17,000 to be paid for verification which comprises National Identity Number, LASRRA, LASDRI, medicals, and police background checks.
“Out of willingness to have them on board, Ibile Holdings approached a bank and provided a loan arrangement with an equity guarantee required for commencement,” Adeyemi said.
He noted that they met again and requested the union to provide an ethics document to be agreed upon by both parties. Adeyemi said the union requested to impose a mandatory payment of 1% from drivers’ earnings to their union in their agreement which LagosRide turned down.
“We told them that our objective is to provide empowerment for Lagosian and not to enrich a union. So, they walked out of the session and that was how our relationship fell apart,” Adeyemi said.
“The empowerment programme was for qualified people to benefit from as individuals and not as a union for the sake of accountability and transparency.
“We were communicating with everybody that had access to us, these people received email, text messages from us. We are not writing to a union because this business model was not designed around a union, it is for the generality of the public.”