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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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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.

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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.

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?”

[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.”

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

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@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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Energy

Electricity tariff increase is suspended for 2 weeks

The FG and the Nigerian Labour Unions have agreed to suspend the electricity tariff increase for a period of two weeks.

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Minister of Labour, Ngige, says labour demand will force government to sack workers

The Federal Government and the Nigerian Labour Unions have agreed to suspend the electricity tariff increase for a period of two weeks. This was part of the agreement reached between Labour and the Government as they deliberated to avert a nationwide strike that would have grounded an already deteriorating economy.

While the strike was over two major issues, an increase in electricity charges and fuel price respectively, the decision to call off the strike was based on the suspension of the electricity bills. The following terms of reference underpinned the agreement between Labour and the Government.

Terms of reference for suspension of electricity increase for 2 weeks.

Terms of reference “The Terms of Reference (ToR) are as follows: To examine the justification for the new policy on cost-reflective Electricity Tariff adjustments.”

  • Both parties are to examine the justification for the new policy on cost-reflective tariff adjustment
  • To look at the different Electricity Distribution Company (DISCOs) and their different electricity tariff vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate.
  • Examine and advise government on the issues that have hindered the deployment of the six million meters.
  • To look into the NERC Act under review with a view to expanding its representation to include organized labour.
  • The Technical sub-committee is to submit its report within two weeks.
  • During the two weeks, the DISCOs shall suspend the application of the cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments. “The meeting also resolved that the following issues of concern to Labour should be treated as stand-alone items:
  • The 40% stake of government in the DISCO and the stake of workers to be reflected in the composition of the DISCOs Boards.
  • An all-inclusive and independent review of the power sector operations as provided in the privatization MOU to be undertaken before the end of the year 2020, with Labour represented.
  • That going forward, the moribund National Labour Advisory Council, NLAC, be inaugurated before the end of the year 2020 to institutionalize the process of tripartism and socio dialogue on socio-economic and major labour matters to forestall crisis.

What this means: The decision reached between the government and labour means the service reflective tariff regime which started on September 1, 2020, is effectively suspended. Customers are therefore no longer required to pay the service reflective tariffs and will revert to the previous MYTO tariffs of 2015.

  • By looking at the “different Electricity Distribution Company (DISCOs) and their different electricity tariff vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate” it appears labour might be looking to recalibrating the tariffs for some Discos.
  • According to documents on the tariff order published by the NERC, some Discos have tariffs for residential customers that are as high as N62/kWh while it’s just under N54 for others.
  • Labour could also get involved in determining the veracity of the tariff bands that determines which customers pay what as electricity tariffs.

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Business

Just-in: NLC, TUC suspend nationwide strike

Hike in electricity tariff to be suspended for 2 weeks, while new pump price of petrol remain unchanged.

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Ayuba Wabba, Why the FG should reverse 6% tenancy, lease stamp duty - NLC

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have suspended the planned nationwide strike and protest that was to commence on Monday, September 28, 2020, over the recent hike in electricity tariff and petrol pump price.

This follows the agreement reached between the Federal Government and the organized labour during the meeting held by both parties which started on Sunday night and dragged on till the early hours of Monday morning.

The disclosure was made by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, through a tweet post on his twitter handle.

In the agreement between the Federal Government and organized labour, the hike in electricity tariff is to be suspended for a period of 2 weeks, while the new pump price of petrol is to remain unchanged.

According to the agreement, which was seen by Nairametrics, both parties agreed to set up a technical committee on Electricity Tariff reforms, comprising Ministries, Agencies, Departments, NLC and TUC, which will work for a duration of 2 weeks with effect from Monday, September 28, 2020, to examine the justification of the new policy in view of the need for the validation of the basis for the new cost-reflective tariff.

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This is due to the conflicting field reports which appear different from the data presented to justify the new policy by NERC, metering deployment, challenges, timelines for massive rollout.

The technical committee is to be headed by the Minister of State for Labour and Labour, Festus Keyamo.

Other members of the committee include the Minister of State Power, Godwin Jedy-Agba, Executive Chairman, National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), James Momoh, Special Assistant to the President on Infrastructure, Ahmad Zakari as the Secretary.

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Also in the committee are Onoho’Omhen Ebhohimhen, Joe Ajaero (NLC), Chris Okonkwo (TUC) and a representative of electricity distribution companies.

The terms of reference for the technical committee include;

  • To examine the justification for the new policy on cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments.
  • To look at the different Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and their different electricity vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate.
  • Examine and advice government on the issues that have hindered the deployment of the 6 million meters.
  • To look into the NERC act under review with a view to expanding its representation to include organized labour.

 

 

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 27th of September 2020, 126 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 58,324 confirmed cases.

On the 27th of September 2020, 126 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 3,011 samples across the country.

To date, 58,324 cases have been confirmed, 49,794 cases have been discharged and 1,108 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 505,556  tests have been carried out as of September 27th, 2020 compared to 502,545 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 27th September 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 58,324
  • Total Number Discharged – 49,794
  • Total Deaths – 1,108
  • Total Tests Carried out – 505,556

According to the NCDC, the 126 new cases were reported from 12 states- FCT (30), Lagos (24), Rivers (23), Ogun (13), Katsina (9), Plateau (9), Ondo (6), Kaduna (4), Kwara (4), Imo (2), Bauchi (1), Edo (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 19,239, followed by Abuja (5,674), Plateau (3,388), Oyo (3,254), Edo (2,624), Kaduna (2,397), Rivers (2,347), Ogun (1,836), Delta (1,802), Kano (1,737), Ondo (1,631), Enugu (1,289), Ebonyi (1,040), Kwara (1,032), Abia (891), Gombe (864). Katsina (857), Osun (827),  Borno (741), and Bauchi (698).

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Imo State has recorded 568 cases, Benue (481), Nasarawa (449), Bayelsa (398),  Jigawa (325), Ekiti (321), Akwa Ibom (288), Niger (259), Adamawa (237), Anambra (234), Sokoto (162), Taraba (95), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Zamfara (78), Yobe (76), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

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The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.

On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.

READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

 

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