Bike-hailing startups, Gokada, ORide, MaxNG and other commercial motorcycles (okada) have been banned from plying 15 out local government areas in Lagos State. The ban also affects Keke Napep (tricycle) operators within the state.
The move was anticipated after several confrontations between government agencies and commercial motorcycles and tricycles operators. The ban, according to the government, will take effect from this weekend, February 1, 2020. Reason for the ban was not disclosed.
LGs where the ban is effective: Nairametrics learnt that the 15 local government areas include Apapa, Apapa Iganmu, Lagos Mainland, Yaba, Surulere, Itire Ikate, Coker Aguda, Eti-Osa, Lagos Island, Ikeja, Onigbongo, Ojodu, Ikoyi-Obalende, Iru Ikoyi-Obalande and Lagos Island East.
Residents of these local government areas won’t be able to utilise the services of bike-hailing startups like Gokada, ORide, MaxNG. They will also not be able to patronise the services of other motorcycles and tricycles (Keke Napep) operating in their vicinities. Note that ORide and MaxNG also have tricycles in their fleet. The ban will likely make some riders redundant.
Is this a clampdown by government? The new development is somewhat confusing as the government has been seeking ways to end traffic gridlock on its roads. The state is in need of transportation options in order to reduce the number of cars on the road.
So, banning bike-hailing rides and tricycles from these areas conflicts with the utterances of the state government. The bike-hailing operators, most especially, have been providing succour to Lagosians due to the constant traffic gridlock. So rather than offering support for the growth of the bike-hailing service, the government has been clamping down on them.
Apart from Police and NURTW’s crackdown on bike-hailing riders, the Lagos State Government is also considering a license fee request from Gokada, MaxNG and ORide. The government is reportedly planning to introduce N25 million annually per 1,000 bikes for the bike-hailing market. Gokada and ORide, however, said they were open to government regulations.