Over the last few months, the Lagos state government has been dashing out poorly developed policies mostly affecting companies in the tech and creative space. These new policies are typically packed with outrageous licensing fees, unreasonable rules that do more harm than good in the aim to ‘protect the citizens’ and also a way for the government to ‘tax’ these newly formed internet-based platforms.
The government’s focus is a new set of guidelines for ride-hailing companies like Bolt and Uber operating in Nigeria, this comes after the Lagos the government restricted the operations of bike-hailing services forcing them to morph into delivery services. The government claimed the bikes were motorcycles were the leading cause of road crashes, although data proves otherwise.
The government says the new guidelines have been created for the concern and safety of Lagosians who use ride-hailing services like Uber and Bolt.
In view of the above statement, there is an urgent need to upgrade the existing guidelines for the operation of Taxi Business in Lagos State based on the reality of insecurity and safety confronting the sector as people of questionable characters have hijacked the process which has resulted into increased road crashes, kidnapping, robbery, pollution, and insecurity, thereby eroding the confidence of the general public in Taxi business.Guidelines for online hailing business operation of taxi in Lagos state (2020).
According to TechCabal, the Lagos state government released guidelines for ride-hailing companies in the state. The 20-page document introduced licensing fees of ₦10 million for operators in the state. It also introduced a 10% service charge on all trips completed by drivers on Uber, Bolt, and all other ride-hailing platforms. The new regulations also raised a few eyebrows at it compels the ride-hailing companies to give the government access to their database.
Since the release of the new regulations became public last week the regulations, the Lagos state government faced considerable backlash considering Lagosians rely heavily on the services of car-hailing services and are still getting over the ban on motorcycles. In response to public outcry, the Lagos state government had no choice but to modify the new rules with the ride-hailing companies.
Changes to the ride-hailing regulations
- Licencing fees have now been reduced by 20%. It means that operators will now pay ₦8 million instead of the ₦10 million earlier stated. It is safe to assume that this reduction will apply to the annual renewal fee of ₦5 million as well.
- The 10% service charge on all rides has also been removed. In its place, the government will charge a flat fee of ₦20 on every ride as part of a “road improvement fund.”
- Concerning the issue regarding access to data, the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on New media, Gawat Jubril, said in a tweet: “E-Hailing Firms must make necessary data available to the Government.” The commissioner for transportation, Dr Frederick Oladeinde clarified this point. He said that the government will not ask for the personal information of riders.
The data that they will be supplied to us is going to be encrypted. We do not want detailed data, it’s just data on movement from point to point. It’s very important that we have this data for planning and where we have congestion in some areas, we can deploy resources required to ensure we don’t congestion. We are not asking for data on people’s details.According to Dr. Oladeinde
The new regulations will come into effect on the August 27th.