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Nigeria: Lagos State introduces new fees for ride-hailing services
The Lagos State government's rumoured fees on ride-hailing services will cause increase in charges for commuters
It never rains but it pours for the citizens of Lagos who just want to get from point A to point B.
After the banning of the motorcycle taxis (okadas) and three wheeled taxis known as keke napeps (kekes), now commuters can look forward to a hike in their Uber charges.
From 1 March, drivers on ride-hailing platforms such as Uber and Bolt (also known as Taxify) in Lagos State are required to have a Lagos State Drivers’ Institute (LASDRI) card and a driver badge issued by the Department of Public Transport and Commuter Services of the Ministry of Transport. The vehicles themselves must have hackney permits and be fitted with a tag issued by the Lagos State Motor Vehicle Administration Agency.
READ MORE: Lagos needs more transport and less talk
A source told The Guardian Ng that although negotiations between the state and ride-hailing operators are still ongoing, these new regulations will require third-party operators such as Uber and Bolt to pay N10 million ($27,400) and an annual renewal fee of N5 million if they have less than 1000 drivers.
If they have more, the licensing fee goes up to N25 million, and N10 million for the annual renewal. The state government will also earn 10% of the fee of each trip.
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Bolanle Ogunlana, spokesperson of the Ministry of Transport, denies the claimed license and renewal fees. However, she confirmed that there are ongoing negotiations between the government and operators to discuss operational guidelines.
However, there is limited information available to the public, with little to no comment made in national newspapers.
Twitter user @NnajiCemeka asked: “What is the conclusion, for the required documents for Ehailing companies to drive in Lagos?”
He continued: “We want to know clearly what government requires from Ehailing companies.”
The recent okada and keke ban has led to a dramatic drop in public transport options in Lagos State, and now some fear that ride-hailing services will also leave the state.
Twitter user @iamSOMTO said: “Oh wow! I foresee Uber leaving Nigeria before the year runs out.”
However, Bolt sent a reassuring message to its drivers and riders, saying: “discussions with the Lagos State Ministry of Transport are still ongoing and we would continue to work with relevant stakeholders to build a strong ride-hailing with your welfare at heart.”