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More Trouble For Lagosians As Government Clamps Down On Uber, Bolt, Ocar Drivers

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More Trouble For Lagosians As Government Clamps Down On Uber, Bolt, Ocar Drivers

Like the proverbial cane used to be the first wife, it seems Lagos State government is set to descend on other e-hailing platforms in Lagos State particularly Uber, Bolt, Ocar Drivers over what it tagged non-payment of operating fee.

For commuters in Nigeria’s commercial city, Lagos, these are trying times, only weeks ago, the Lagos State Government announced a restriction on the operations of commercial motorcycles and tricycles in six local governments – Apapa, Eti Osa, Ikeja, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland and Surulere.

With the clampdown on Uber, Bolt and Ocar drivers, the situation may become direr for commuters in Lagos who are still lamenting about the government taking Okadas off major streets.

According to an official of the Lagos Vehicle Inspection Services, commercial vehicle drivers and those on Uber and other ride-hailing platforms must be certified by the Lagos Drivers’ Institute before they can operate in the state.

Moreover, drivers on ride-hailing platforms must have hackney permits. This means they have to change their vehicle registration to commercial.

Another official of the VIS said Uber has also not paid an operator license fee to the state government.

“You need to have what we call operator license, which Uber was supposed to pay to the government,” the official said in a telephone conversation with an Uber driver. The Guardian has a record of that phone conversation. “Uber has no operator license.”

While drivers of the respective ehailing platforms feel this is an attempt by Lagos State Government to bring them under the umbrella of National Union of Road Transport Workers(NURTW), the group says it has its own body and will be dealing with the Lagos State Government in that capacity.

One member of Professional E-hailing Drivers and Private Owners Association (PEDPA), said the body is constituted by drivers who have been in almost all sub-sectors of the Nigerian transportation sectors, hence understand what it takes to provide quality transportation services while calling of Uber, Bolt and Oride to do the needful so that its members can do their job without harassment from Lagos state officials.

BlackBox Nigeria gathered that some of the drivers, whose cars were impounded, have already paid the N30,000 fine and have taken receipt of their vehicles. Some are looking to Uber and Bolt being the major players to help solve the problem.

“Most drivers in the hailing transport business are private individuals who are only engaging to meet ends need, telling them to go completely commercial and frustrating them with new taxes would be counterproductive for the Lagos State Government’s transportation agenda,” said Ibrahim Taiwo who using Bolt has his major ehailing platform.

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