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Business News

Lagos turns to Uber, Bolt, others, clamps down on them over permits

These are not good times for ride-hailing companies in Nigeria, as Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is reportedly after Uber, Bolt, Ocar and others.

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Lagos state imposes 24-hour curfew, as hoodlums hijack #EndSARS protest, Social clubs, recreational centres to reopen August 14, Lagos International Trade Fair to get permanent site soon, Sanwo-Olu vows , Lagos State discloses road expansion plans in an effort to combat traffic, Lagos State cracking down on Uber, Bolt, Ocar a week after Okada, Keke Napep ban , LASG increases health workers’ allowances, commissions local production of face masks

These are not good times for ride-hailing companies and their patrons in Lagos, as Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration has started beaming lights on the operations of the car-hailing firms like Uber, Bolt, and Ocar among others.

This has caused an uproar on social media, with some Nigerians criticising the government and calling for a protest.

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Few weeks after Lagos State Government banned commercial motorcycles and tricycles from plying six local government areas and nine local council development areas, it appears the government’s  next move is to clamp on the operations of Uber, Bolt and Ocar.

Why is the government coming after them? It was disclosed that the car-hailing services have failed to obtain Hackney permits, which will change their vehicle registration to commercial from private.

A source in the Lagos Vehicle Inspection Services said commercial vehicle drivers, Uber, Bolt, and other car-sharing platforms are expected to be certified by the Lagos Drivers’ Institute before operation commences in the State.

He disclosed that Uber hadn’t paid an operator license fee to the state government. “You need to have what we call operator license, which Uber and others were supposed to pay to the government.”

[READ MORE: Lagos State reveals plans to address negative aftermaths of okada ban)

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This has led to the impounding of some Uber driver’s car. The driver had to pay N60,000 to retrieve his vehicle.

However, in a conversation with one of the VIS officials, he told Nairametrics that drivers on car-hailing platforms do not necessarily need Hackney permits except some that operate outside the operation model of the car-hailing services, by picking passengers like commercial buses.

He added that when they are caught, the Police will have to request for Hackney permit, which the VIS official said costs about N3, 000 and above, depending on the engine capacity of the vehicle.

The problem with the government’s crackdown: This has resulted in high cost of living in Lagos. The ban has caused inflation in transport fare, with Uber and Bolt increasing their rate as demand surges. Also, commercial buses (yellow buses) have hiked their prices, and this will affect the cost of goods and services in Lagos.

This is coming at a time when the increase in VAT (5% to 7.5%) is expected to impact the cost of living in Nigeria. The ban will double the projection for Lagosians who are already living in a costly state compared to other Nigerian states.

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Social media reactions: On twitter, several Nigerians responded to the new development. One twitter user, @Morris_Monye said, “‘Okada’, ‘Keke’, ‘Gokada’, ‘Opay’, now Uber have their operations either banned or heavily restricted. Somehow, rickety, smelly ‘danfo’ is exempted and part of the Greater Lagos. Who can explain this in simple terms? I do not understand.”

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Another user, @topgee992 tweeted, “Now that the Lagos state government is coming for uber/taxify, what happens to that lady they bought car for to start-up? What’s really going on?”

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[READ ALSO: Bike-hailing ban insensitive, Gokada, MaxNG slam Lagos government)

A Twitter user, @principe_viii, wrote that, “First, the lagos government came after Okada and Keke, now they are going after Uber & Taxify. They really are out to make lagosians suffer for no reason.”

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@bolu_oj tweeted, “I am sad to hear that Lagos is going after Uber and Bolt. This will not end well.”

@theofficialFEMI tweeted that, “Now that Lagos State Govt is coming for Uber and Taxify, I hope some of you still defending this madness are ready sha.”

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Meanwhile, Head of communications in West Africa, Uber, Efosa Aiyevbomwan, has assured stakeholders that it would continue to ensure its operations align with best practices.

In a statement, he said, “Uber continues to work closely with all relevant stakeholders in Lagos to ensure that our operations align with best practices locally and internationally, whilst also ensuring that drivers continue to earn a living and riders are able to move from point A to B, comfortably and conveniently, at the touch of a button.”

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    February 9, 2020 at 3:22 pm

    U can see how unhealthy and unconsiderate governance, is here.while thousands were idle,still u can’t design a app to lift ur people from hunger.now u av d guts to want to check wat u cant build.d danfos and old cabs r d ones of standard abi.keep dragging back dis nation with ur crooked tacts. Make us happy abeg ratger than exacerbate d status quo…

  2. 9jaRealist

    February 9, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    Nigeria has become such a lawless nation (even the government itself hardly follows due process or respects court orders) that Nigerians apparently think it is wrong for the government to require that folks who ferry innocent citizens around the city should be regulated. SMH

  3. Anonymous

    February 10, 2020 at 3:00 am

    This lagos government is mad ,instead of him to solve the power problems in his state just wasting time on stupid foolish things that wouldn’t help him.

  4. Frankie

    February 10, 2020 at 3:41 am

    Its simple. NURTW are not happy about various competitors. So Governor strikes a deal.if you help me win elections, we going to scrap all forms of competition. Elections are done and dusted,this bans&restrictions are now the benefits. Smh

  5. DAT-ISHAN-BOY @45.com

    February 10, 2020 at 6:52 am

    Hmmmm! Sanwo…sanwo… Sanwo…okay oh!you are biting the fingers that fed you…you forget too soon oh!dont allow AMBODE to laugh at you oh!your combatant mode of attack on the peace of lagosians will make unpopular with them and know what means…ask ambo!you can’t put lagosians in sufferings while you ride home and sleep in peace…please biko Mr governor.. Understand what the people wants and why you are a governor today no be day na you better pass the rest…dont disappoint us oh!you can’t bound everything positive in the state and leave vices like the agberos and their like in peace…please live uber and taxify alone…tell them what to do they will obey instead of powering those government thugs in uniform called VIO…please allow us enjoy Lagos or else 2023 is just a stonethrow from here.a word of the elders.

  6. Raskunlery

    February 10, 2020 at 8:32 am

    This is surely government of the rich ,he doesn’t know that there are lower class in Lagos like fashola regime, government that does not think about how poor masses live … You people should fair God and know that you are just privilege its not by your power..
    You ban okada riders , keke riders , now uber , taxify and opay … Good but the question is which job have you created for this people..even what alternative have you made for the commuters .. Your government is not a problem solver instead you are creating problem.. You will surely account for all your action to God when time comes…

    Continue all your evil act in the name of government…

    • Sirmicorich

      March 3, 2020 at 1:23 pm

      I’ll rather say, he’s a governor without the understanding of right governance, he’s not intelligent with this move, not in a country like nigeria, and never in a state like Lagos. It’s obvious we are in a big mess

  7. Anonymous

    February 10, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    Carry on jare,
    Sabi ambode was not good,
    This will continue to be the punishment for every one that rejects a governor for the poor,
    Ride on
    Sanwo fun olowo

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Sports

Cristiano Ronaldo: The billionaire businessman you probably don’t know about

The mercurial Portuguese sets the bar for other professional footballers when it comes to making money off the pitch.

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Cristiano Ronaldo tests positive for COVID-19

When you hear the name Cristiano Ronaldo, what probably comes to your mind is the image of the exceptionally talented, handsome, and successful football player that has taken the term “world-class” to another pedestal.

Records upon records have been broken by this 36-year old, and the best part is that it seems he is not stopping anytime soon. However, there is more to football when it comes to the Portuguese. He is an avid businessman.

Yes, you heard that right. Ronaldo recently became the first footballer, and only the third sportsperson, after Tiger Woods and Floyd Mayweather Jnr., to hit the $1bn mark in terms of earnings. He cost over a $100m while swapping Real Madrid for Juventus back in 2018, while he will also earn close to $140m, if he stays for the entirety of his 4-year contract.  While his on-pitch successes have brought him a lot of fortune, he has made more off it.

He is 36 now, which means he is closer to the end of his career, and while many players opt to go towards the football line after their playing days are over, Ronaldo has consistently stated that he doesn’t see himself in football after he retires.

Since he clocked 30 years old back in 2015, he has been actively pursuing business opportunities that would continue to fetch him money even after he hangs up his boots.

This article highlights 4 ways in which the mercurial Portuguese has set the bar for other professional footballers when it comes to making money off the pitch.

The name of the game is endorsement

Ronaldo has been able to milk his public persona to good and effective use. He is adored by millions of fans all over the world for his consistency, excellence and longevity. These attributes make him the perfect fit for tons of businesses who jostle for his signature to be their brand ambassadors. His deal with Nike will see him earn at least $19m a year until he is 73 years old. He also has sponsorship deal with Herbalife, KFC, Castrol, and Samsung.

He has been able to leverage the sheer numbers of his followers across different social media platforms. He has 91m followers on Twitter, approximately 125m follow him on Facebook, while a whopping 266m people follow him on Instagram. A combined fan base of 482m means that he commands a high price for endorsements, as brands would pay over the odds to see him promote their goods and services.

Partnerships all the way

For all his success on the pitch, Ronaldo has astute business sense. In 2019, while speaking about his partnership with Insparya, a haircare group, Ronaldo said, “Alopecia is a very big problem in Europe and around the world and we want to help people improve their self-esteem and not be ashamed to come to us. This project is going to be a success, as we want to help the Spaniards and the Spanish economy.”

Ronaldo also has interests in the hospitality industry through his partnership with the Pestana Hotel Group. There are currently five hotels: one each in Lisbon and Madeira, his hometown while finishing touches are being put in place for three locations in New York, Madrid and Marrakech. CR7 Pestana Paris will also open in 2021, with the Portuguese looking at more premium locations to further establish his brand.

Varied Investment Portfolio

He also has a stake in Grupo Mabel Capital alongside Spanish celebrities such as Pau Gasol, Rafa Nadal and Enrique Iglesias. Grupo own the chain of restaurants called Tatel, which has presence in Madrid, Miami and famous resort and holiday town, Ibiza. He has also invested in Zela Restaurants, which has outlets in both London and Ibiza.

Ronaldo’s investments surely won’t seem right if he doesn’t own or run a fitness line. His determination to excel in his career has seen him reach unbelievable levels of fitness. His match recovery regimen and nutrition is well-known, which has seen him score an astonishing 300 goals since turning 30. In 2016, he agreed a partnership with Crunch Fitness, with two CR7 Crunch Gyms still running in Madrid.

He also has a creative agency named 7EGEND, whose credo, according to their website, is to “create innovative solutions and experiences, through the best thinking, strategy, design and engineering”. 7EGEND designed the websites for Valencia FC as well as the store for the Portuguese national team.

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Multiple businesses

CR7, as he is fondly called has well-known businesses and investments in fashion, namely high-end underwear and luxurious fragrances. His underwear line, CR7 underwear sell briefs, trunks, socks for men and boys. He also has a footwear brand that deals with a diverse product range including boots, slippers, casuals, as well as belts, wallets and bags.

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Ronaldo does fragrances too. He is actively involved in the ideation, design, branding, as well as production of the different fragrances, selling other products such as aftershaves, shower gels, deodorants, as well as other men’s grooming products. There is also the CR7 Museu, a museum in his native Madeira. It showcases over 100 trophies and medals he has won in his prestigious career till date.

One Last Thing…

Ronaldo has earned praise for his remarkable 19-year football career but even more, praise should go his way for the way he has been able to manage himself off-pitch, which means that if he decides to retire today, he has his pick of what could be the next career for him. An astute businessman indeed.

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Written by Ademola Kadiri

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Sports

Manchester United announces Q2 2021 financial results, as net debt increases to £455.5m

According to Manchester United’s second-quarter financial results,.net debt grew to £455.5 million, an increase of £64.2 million.

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English top-flight club, Manchester United’s net debt has increased to £455.5m, a £64.2m (16.4%) increase compared to last year as the club reveals its latest reports for the second quarter of fiscal 2021.

The English club also revealed an operating profit of £48.5m a positive increment of £12m (32.9%) compared to that of last year as the top-flight club continue to adjust and adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Old Trafford Stadium, Museum and Stadium Tour operations remain closed and also the Old Trafford based Megastore was closed on 31 December 2020 and remains closed due to the pandemic.

Key highlights include:

  • The club posted a total revenue of £172.8m, a profit of £4.4m (2.6%) compared to the £168.4m made at the same period last year.
  • United’s commercial revenue for the quarter was £62.6m with a drop of £8.0m (11.3%) compared to that of last year.
  • Sponsorship revenue was also down to £37.8m, a decrease of £7.3m (16.2%) compared to that of last year.
  • Retail, Merchandising, Apparel & Product Licensing revenue also dipped to £24.8 million, a decrease of £0.7 million, (2.7%) compared to that of last year.
  • Broadcasting revenue for the quarter was £108.7m which is an increase of £44.0m (68%) compared to the £64.7m made at the same period last year.
  • The revenue increase this quarter due to the participation of United in the UEFA Champions League compared to last year when they were in the Europa League.
  • United ended the quarter with net debt of £455.5m, an increase of £64.2m (16.4%) compared to a net debt of £391.3m last year.

Unsurprisingly, due to the effect of the pandemic, fans are restricted from entering the attending matches, matchday revenue fell drastically from £33.1m to £1.5m, a dip of £31.6m (95.5%) due to all matches being played behind closed doors compared to last year where nine home games were played with fans in attendance. However, the UK is expected to ease down lockdown measures in May which might see a return of fans to attend matches.

What they are saying

Manchester United Executive Vice Chairman, Ed Woodward said the following in the financial report:

  • “As we approach a full year since our last game with fans at Old Trafford, we reflect on an extraordinarily challenging 12 months for football and society as a whole. The rapid rollout of vaccines in the UK and beyond gives us confidence that we are now on a path towards normality, including the return of fansto stadia. While the disruption to our operations remains significant, we are pleased by the tremendous resilience the club has demonstrated through the pandemic, underpinned by the dedication of our people and the strength of our commercial business. We have been reminded of the importance of football as a source of community, entertainment and pride to fans around the world, even as we have sorely missed them at Old Trafford. The progress made by Ole and the players this season is clear and our thriving Academy and Women’s team are also adding to the optimism we feel about the future on and off the pitch.”

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