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Columnists

Transportation: Lagos bans okadas and tricycles…including Gokada & Oride 

Lagos is becoming increasingly unsafe for its citizens due to the increasing rate of robbery perpetrated mainly by robbers using motorcycles to aid quick escape from robbery scenes.

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Should Gokada and Max.ng be afraid of ORide?, OPay reacts to office shutdown, N25 million license fee, OPay management denies payment issue as ORide riders protest against road transport workers union, Transportation: Lagos bans okadas and tricycles…including Gokada & Oride 

Few days ago, the Lagos State Government announced a ban on the operations of commercial motorcycles popularly called Okada and tricycles popularly called Keke Napep preventing them from plying certain routes within the state. The ban comes as the state begins total enforcement of the Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018. The ban includes motorcycle hailing tech ventures such as Oride, Gokada, Max.ng etc.

We recall last year, many of the motorcycle hailing companies had brawls with motorcycle operators within the country, requiring them to pay daily fees to them in order to operate in different routes.

The state government stepped in and required them to pay N25 million per annum as license fees to operate within the state, albeit still being negotiated downwards. In our view, the decision to ban them from accessing several major routes in less than a year after reaching an agreement appears out of place. We struggle to see how these motorcycle hailing firms would take this in their stride given the significant impact it would have on their revenues.

Lagos State bans Gokada, ORide, MaxNG, others from 15 local governments 

In fairness to the state government, it stated some of the reasons that informed the decision to enforce the ban. Between 2016 and 2019, over 10,000 motorcycle and tricycle accidents have been recorded in general hospitals within Lagos while over 600 deaths have also been recorded.

Furthermore, Lagos is becoming increasingly unsafe for its citizens due to the increasing rate of robbery perpetrated mainly by robbers using motorcycles to aid quick escape from robbery scenes. We also note that motorcycle and tricycle drivers contribute significantly to the notorious traffic situation in Lagos as many of them do not get any formal training and as such do not understand traffic signs and rules.

In our view, the decision to include registered operators like Gokada was not well thought out given the huge licensing fees they are required to pay and their relatively high cost of operations. We recall many of these companies raised significant capital to fund their operations last year in a bid to expand capacity and cover more areas within the state following the agreement they reached with the government on license fees. This policy instability and constant breach of agreements on the part of the government may continue to discourage the flow of FDIs into the country.

[READ MORE: Banking: Surprise hike in CRR-Implications for banks)

Furthermore, we note that many Lagosians are highly dependent on these banned means of transport within the state. Given that transport infrastructure remains decrepit and alternatives are yet to be created, the government should have held off the ban for now. Again, this lends credence to Nigeria’s history of “banning before providing alternatives”.

Whilst we agree totally that the banned mode of transportation remains unsafe, the absence of alternatives will make movement difficult for the average Nigerian.

_______________________________________________________________________

CSL STOCKBROKERS LIMITED CSL Stockbrokers,

Member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange,

First City Plaza, 44 Marina,

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PO Box 9117,

Lagos State,

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NIGERIA.

 

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Barriga Bello

    January 29, 2020 at 10:16 am

    Furthermore, we note that many Lagosians are highly dependent on these banned means of transport within the state. Given that transport infrastructure remains decrepit and alternatives are yet to be created, the government should have held off the ban for now. Again, this lends credence to Nigeria’s history of “banning before providing alternatives”.

    BINGO! BINGO!! BINGO!!!

  2. IB

    January 29, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    Guess Opay’s share price would have tanked if it was listed

  3. Obasogie

    January 30, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    “Furthermore, Lagos is becoming increasingly unsafe for its citizens due to the increasing rate of robbery perpetrated mainly by robbers using motorcycles to aid quick escape from robbery scenes.”

    There will be a geometric increase in robbery when you barn motorcycles. What is statistics of employed motorcycles riders . Compared with with robbers using motorcycles to aid quick escape robbery scenes. This judgement is out of “GREED”….

  4. Bassey Ndada

    January 31, 2020 at 12:49 am

    the absence of alternatives will make movement difficult for the average Nigerian

  5. Efosa Gideon

    January 31, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    Seen a lot a bike accidents recently on that Iyana Ipaja- Mangoro- Ikeja Along axis, the latest being this morning near Mangoro where about 4 fully boarded bikes were affected. This was at about 7:50am this morning, and all affected commuters were heading to their respective places of work. One lady, facially disfigured, while others were seriously wounded.

    Even though i often patronize the services, i am inclined by what I have seen recently, to agree partially to the ban. The regulated/ branded Opay and Gokada should not be included. The government cannot (or should not) eat its cake and have it. Their riders do have a better sense of safety and decorum on the roads. Moreso, the traffic situation creates the need to have them.

    Exclude the regulated/branded commercial bike riders, and this reasonably works.

  6. Nwosai

    January 31, 2020 at 11:35 pm

    Accident is a natural thing. Nobody in Lagos state, can truthfully say he has never patronized okada or keke riders especially in a moment of urgency. What will be will be and what will not be, will not be. To enforce this ban, a lot of people will also die, considering the cruel understanding of the so called half baked or even not baked law enforcement agents. Nigerian Government is a unique one indeed and the citizens are equally unique.

  7. Ntamu sixtus

    February 8, 2020 at 12:08 am

    Well I think before enforcing such law in a country like this, the govt. Should have preinformed the company, renew not their liecence to operate, make alternative b4 implementing such. Now you know how many graduate have been laid off? Please let the govt think of the positive and negative effect b4 implementing any law cus you are there to serve and not to role

  8. Mr Oluwafemi Alale

    February 10, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    From my own little knowledge, I believe there should have been an alternative plan even though the Govt wants to regulate the transport system of the state. I don’t understand the system we are actually running in this country, if we claim to be running a democratic system of govt then the Govt should always consider pepeople’s opinion before implementing or taking any drastic action. Being a leader is a call to serve and not call to oppress, intimidate or dictate! It’s only Nigeria you see leaders in position using their office do and undo…they should remember that when you push people to the wall they would definitely revolt. We shouldn’t wait till that time before we start getting it right.

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Columnists

Currency deregulation and finding the true value of the Naira

Why does a government borrowing heavily choose to subsidize the dollar?

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A colleague said to me, “it’s uncanny how your Central Bank’s policy on Foreign Exchange is similar to that of Zimbabwe of 2008”.

I had to go check what Zimbabwe did and where it led them to.  Zimbabwe. after a bout of hyperinflation, abandoned its currency. Nigeria’s current arrangement may get us there.

It is a good time to own a BDC. BDC licenses can cost as much as N15m now. The same license cost about N3m some years ago. Why has it gone up? A BDC can generate a weekly return of N1.3-1.4m just on a $50k bid.  Most people can live on that. With a spread of N65 on a dollar: official at 410 and parallel at 475, why do you have to sweat?

So what is the impact of this? A long run destruction of the economy, a higher subsidy than calculated on petrol and a significant market distortion. A distortion that profits less than 1% of the population and sending a higher number into poverty.

READ: FG rejects IMF’s advice to devalue the naira

With, until recently, accretion to reserves impaired by low crude prices and low volumes, there is a rapid depletion of the country’s reserves. Why does a government borrowing heavily choose to subsidize the dollar?

The answer is corruption. Corruption played out supported by perceptions of what could happen to the middle class if the Naira were allowed to float. Nigerians tend to politicize the exchange rates. It’s for them a sign of economic management. Governments in power have that awareness. It’s part of the play in sustaining corruption.

The future is bleak. The external reserves shed over a $1billion in the last few weeks. Nigeria is consuming the present and the future. There is really nothing to show for the years of interventions. With the ongoing challenges in security and rising poverty, the destination is going to be a crash.

It is time for market unification. It is time for Nigeria to move to find the true value of the Naira. It must stop the corruption in the markets.

 

Written by Demola Adigun

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Columnists

Tinted windows: A quest for privacy and our collective need to be safe

There is an urgent need to balance out the need for privacy/comfort for vehicle owners and the overall security of the society.

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It is 6:30 pm on a cold harmattan smothered evening on Oregun Road in Lagos, and Sola was driving his friend’s car as they headed for an evening hangout. Fred, the owner of the car is sitting in the front seat as Sola attempts to make a U-turn just before the exit into Opebi Link Road when a commercial motorcyclist (Okada) comes speeding on the driver’s side.

In the ensuing crash, the Okada rider was sent flying into the air and his bike slid into the middle of the road. As is normal in Lagos, a large crowd had gathered taking pictures and generally being a nuisance and when they saw the occupants of the car were all young men, the assumption being that they were drunk and that was the cause of the accident.

A Police patrol team on routine patrol arrived at the scene to forestall the breakdown of law and order and immediately moved the crowd away after pictures of the accident scene had been taken. The experienced Inspector who led the team noticed the windows of the car were dark and heavily tinted- with small holes cut into it to allow a limited view of the side mirrors. This limited the angle of view of the driver as he made the turn and thus the accident.

A very high percentage of accidents at turnings/ intersections in Nigeria are caused by poor visibility on the part of drivers in heavily tinted vehicles. The use of 5% tint (which is the darkest form of tint) is most prevalent in quasi security vehicles such as the Toyota Hilux in convoys and in vehicles owned by personnel of government security agencies.

Tinted windows are a fad amongst Nigerians and a status symbol especially for politicians and the wealthy. Tinted windows are basically two kinds: the factory tinted and the fit for purpose tints installed by the owner of the vehicle. Factory tinted windows have the tint coloured into the windows themselves and so it is not removable; while for the fit for purpose tint involves the use of a layer of film over the glass and it can be removed.

Some of the reasons for a window tint in a vehicle include a level of privacy for the occupants, protection from UV rays / the glare of the sun and to provide a look that is pleasing to the eye. Tints were initially only included in Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) because they do not come with a covered-up luggage area (Boot) and so the tint provided some sort of cover for the items in the Boot from prying eyes.

Factory tinted windows have a pigment inside of the glass themselves; while the purpose fit tints require the installation of a nylon film over the window that creates a tint in varying degrees. The degrees range from 50% which is the same as a factory tint, 35% which is a light and acceptable tint, 25% tint which is dark and acceptable in most instances and the 5% tint which is very dark and not acceptable in most instances.

Factory tint can be found on the rear windows of most new and fairly used SUVs and trucks. Tints are measured by the Visible Light Transmission Percentage (VLT%) in terms of the amount of light (UV rays that they allow into the Vehicle) and the 5% is the extreme of the spectrum with very little light coming through and thus it is very dark inside the vehicle especially at night, while the 50% is the very start of the spectrum with plenty light into the vehicle, thus it is bright).

In Nigeria, the Police determines and regulates the use of tints in vehicles and what is acceptable in the entire Federation. The Laws of the Federal Republic Nigeria places the onus and burden for the regulation of the use of tint in vehicles on the Nigeria Police both as a regulator and enforcer of the rules and procedures.

In the beginning, the Police only licensed vehicles with factory tinted windows, but in recent times the permit has been issued for non-factory tinted windows. According to the regulations, exemptions are issued for owners with a medical requirement for these types of tint for their vehicles and owners are required to provide evidence from government-owned hospitals for the permit to be issued.

Some of the reasons why window darkness is regulated include safety issue for vehicle occupant and other road users (i.e., you cannot see clearly enough especially at night and thus become a danger to yourself and other road users). Secondly, law enforcement officers need to be able to see the occupants of a vehicle at any point in time (this might be for purposes of a routine search or just so that occupants are visible in the event of harm being done to anyone inside the vehicle).

In absence of a clear scope from the Nigeria Police on the acceptable levels of tint, what we have in play in Nigeria is individuals opting for varying levels of tints based on their own desires, needs and their location. The existing laws have been widely ignored and this has led to the proliferation of some of the harshest degrees of tints in vehicles in Nigeria and profiteering by unscrupulous groups and individuals in the market for vehicle tints. Road users have been known to be subject of inducements from law enforcement officers especially on the highways between states in the federation.

There is an urgent need to balance out the need for privacy/comfort for vehicle owners and the overall security of the society. The Nigeria Police has on several occasions raised the alarm about the use of dark tinted vehicles by kidnappers and armed robbers. This led to the issuance of the Tint Permit which required a physical inspection of the vehicle and capturing of the biometrics of the owner.

The non-enforcement of the original policy and its dilution with all manner of exemptions have totally eroded the initial gains of the policy. On the Portal for the tint permit hosted on the website of the Nigerian Police, there is a clear notice to vehicle owners informing them that the permit is only issued for factory tinted vehicles and there is a need to enforce this provision if we are going to eliminate the dangerous levels of tints we presently have on our roads.

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While it is understandable that some individuals want to guard their privacy, public safety comes first.

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