Lagos reduces e-hailing licence fee, reverses 10% service charge

*Introduces N20 per trip charges
*Gives e-hailing drivers 90days to regularise documents

Lagos State government on Friday reversed the 10 per cent service charge it planned to impose on every trip made through e-hailing platforms like Uber and Bolt.

The Commissioner for Transport, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, said the state government has reached an agreement with operators to now charge N20 per trip instead of 20 per cent of the charges for each trip. He stated that the N20 per trip charges would be housed under the Road Improvement Fund.

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

The new regulations were earlier scheduled to take effect in March but were postponed to August 20 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The president of the National Union of Professional App-Based Workers Ayoade Ibrahim told The Guardian on Monday that the regulations which the government had planned to effect from August 20 put a heavy burden on the drivers and expose them to the whims of ride-hailing companies.

However, the commissioner said the revision of the regulations was agreed upon after the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu along with some executive council members held a meeting with e-hailing operators.

He added that the documents the drivers should acquire include the Lagos State Registration Agency card, drivers license, among other documents, saying drivers who failed to comply would be banned from operating among other penalties.

He further said that a one-stop shop had been created to ensure that the drivers all the required documents easily.

Oladeinde revealed that it was also agreed that the operators should take comprehensive insurance for each vehicle, while the driver takes a third party insurance.

He also said the operators had been told to do a background check on each driver, which the state government hopes would promote safety.

The Commissioner said the operators were also mandated to provide data about each trip made on their platforms every week, stating that the data would help the government to plan better on areas it should deploy resources.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Information, Mr Gbenga Omotosho said there was no strain in the relationship between the state government and the operators. He said steps taken by the state government were aimed at providing a good environment for businesses to thrive aside promoting safety and security of residents and commuters. He said the regulation was not about imposing taxes but safety.

The President of Professional E-hailing Drivers and Private Owners Association Idris Shonuga implored e-hailing drivers to comply with the state government directives. He applauded the state government for helping to resolves all the grey areas.

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