A video that recently went viral on social media shows that some Area Boys, popularly known as Agberos, stopped the riders of popular motorcycle-hailing services, Oride, Gokada and MAXng, from operating along Ojuelegba part of Lagos State.
A passenger, who shared the video via her Twitter handle said the Area Boys were stopping the riders and demanding a sum of N500 from them.
She said the ‘Agberos’ interrupted her ride, and as a result, she couldn’t continue with her journey. She asserted that the Lagos State Government is not ready for evolution or business.
Lagos is definitely not ready for business.
Agberos right now stopping oride, gokada and maxng bikes in Ojuelegba.
They want the riders to pay N500 for a N100 ticket
My trip has been canceled pic.twitter.com/GhuEvENilc
— WORLDFAMOUS olamide (@olamideyelo) July 17, 2019
In 2012, Lagos State Government banned motorcycles from operating in over 467 areas in the State. This led to the emergence of the bike-hailing companies penetrating the market and offering over 20 million residents of Lagos options to their commuting life.
Lagos State is the biggest market for motorbike-hailing services in Nigeria and it is believed these bike-hailing services have obtained the rights to ply major roads, as their bikes are within the capacity specified by the Lagos Government.
Issue of tax: According to reports, Lagos State Government is not getting enough revenue from the them.
Most of these bike-hailing services are not registered under the Lagos state government but in the neighboring Ogun State. This is a source of worry for Lagos as most of them run in the State.
An investigation carried by The Nation revealed that the riders of some of these companies such as ORide, U-Go Services, and MAX Okada have been serially harassed by men of the Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS) over the aforementioned issue and many have alleged that this must have resulted to the the situation being reported.
What this means for business: This issue posses serious loss for these companies if they are constantly harassed by ‘Agberos’. Customers of these popular services may not wish to use the services, knowing the danger ahead.
It is time these companies sorted out the problems and challenges facing them. They should work in accordance with the law and regulation guiding the State to avoid further harassment.
Reactions: Many Nigerians on Twitter were livid over the issue, as they blamed the Lagos State Government for employing touts to control their affairs.
Some argued that most of these motorbikes services pay taxes regularly to the government.
— Nwando (@n_jekwe) July 17, 2019
See other reactions below.
I can totally relate, and if this continues, it will kill E-commerce in Nigeria because they rely on logistics. I run a logistics company and everyday I’m frustrated by these people.
— Pick ‘n’ Dispatch Logistics (@Mz_bzolah) July 17, 2019
Same for logistic companies. They are harrased by non-state agents and some using state agents to extort at major junctions.
Lagos is not opened for business at all if this remains unresolved.
— Bolu (@bolu_oj) July 17, 2019
[READ FURTHER: Should Gokada and Max.ng be afraid of ORide?]