Rescue Lagride scheme from cabals, drivers’ union urges Sanwo-Olu
The Professional E-hailing Driver and Private-owner Association of Nigeria (PEDPAN) has raised the alarm that over 1,000 cars acquired for the purpose of Lagride modern transportation system initiative have ended up in the hands of private individuals and allies of cabals.
The group, therefore, urged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Commissioner for Transportation to, as a matter of urgency and in the interest of tax-payers, probe and rescue the Lagride initiative from cabals, who they alleged, have nothing to do with e-hailing transportation services in the state, as they are not operating optimally as expected.
A statement, yesterday, by the union’s National Publicity Secretary, Jossy Olawale, also alleged that the Lagride project was hijacked by the elements to sabotage the empowerment programmes of Sanwo-Olu’s administration.
Olawale said that the targeted beneficiaries of the scheme could not access the empowerment programme owing to unreasonable and hostile conditions created by the conspirators.
He said the original arrangement between PEDPAN and Lagride management, which was circumvented, was that PEDPAN would provide verified members to acquire the Lagride cars in conjunction with yellow taxi association, while the equity contribution would be provided through the government-sponsored facility into accredited banks in form of empowerment, calculated into total sum and repayment by drivers within a four-year period.
“But in a selfish move by this cabal, one Idris Shonuga, who was the former president of PEDPAN and now claiming to be national co-ordinator of PEDPAN, connives and presents a private company called Kalidola Logistic Limited as a consulting company to provide drivers for Lagride,” he said.
He said members had been swindled of their hard-earned money and surcharged even at the detriment of the empowerment scheme.
He alleged that the strategy adopted by the management of Lagride was in deviance from any form of empowerment or creation of jobs, but a mere exploitation of unemployed populace, through diversion of the Lagride acquisition from teeming interested, qualified and organised e-hailing drivers in Lagos State, who paid the mandatory N17,000 pre-aquisition to a third-party lease partner.
He said the third-party lease partner will end up adding more burden on the drivers when they acquire the car at N7.5 million, in addition to a whooping 17.5 per cent yearly interest rate, translating to N12.75 million at the end of four years.
The cost, according to him, is exclusion of the 25 per cent commission charges on Lagride app for each trip completed, vehicle registration, yearly comprehensive insurance, LASG e-hailing levy, android devices loaded with the app to be given to each driver, installed security gadgets and statutory certification, as well as refresher training.
The union said that it had since dissociated itself from activities of Shonuga and his firm, saying that he was only after himself and he is no longer representing the union in any capacity.