September 06, 2016

Lagos to impose new rules to clamp down on UBER & others?

Uber has enjoyed a good ride in Lagos, but it may be set for bumps. During its 2 years in operation, the ride-hailing app has, Uber says, “facilitated” over a million trips. After its first 16 months, Ebi Atawodi, general manager of Uber Nigeria, claimed the service grew 30% faster in Lagos than it did in its first 16 months in London. Despite the rise of competitors, Uber has remained popular with many Nigerians.

But a recent regulation drive by the Lagos state government could throw a spanner in its wheels.

The state government has reiterated its intent to regulate taxi operations using a franchise system. It enshrined this in a law back in 2012, and adopted the corresponding regulation at the start of this year, but up until now there’s been no attempt to enforce it.

Under this model, taxi operators must register with the state and get a franchise license. Franchises can include up to 50 cars at a cost of 100,000 naira (about $320) per car. That’s a problem for Uber, which depends on private cars signing up to work with its service and doesn’t require them to register with the state.

The state’s newfound enthusiasm for its own regulations is likely to mean a crackdown on Uber drivers. They’re usually easy to spot since they tend to drive newer cars and to carry GPS devices, a rarity in Lagos. Already, there are reports of frequent stops by law enforcement officers. An Uber spokesperson told Quartz the company is “actively working with the regulators” to shape its future in Nigeria. But in the short term its service could be disrupted.

While the state claims its new regulations are meant to increase the safety and security of passengers, they could just be a way for it to make some extra revenue. Lagos’s stance is in contrast to the position of federal lawmakers, who earlier this year, passed a resolution to integrate ride-sharing into national transport policies. Though non-binding, the resolution is a “first step towards legislation” which could compel states across the country to embrace ride-sharing policies.

by Quartz Africa


Anonymous said...

Rather than support businesses to grow, they always looking for how to collect

Kay Heavy said...

Y can you operate without an operational licence? Dis reg is once now 4 goodness sake! How much ar d agbero collecting fron danfo et al?

Tayo O'banwo said...

Hey Mr/Mrs Anonymous, would Uber construct new roads for their cabs? They have 2 be regulated and they have to pay taxes asap!

Jeff Kingsley Jr said...

At this point that people are going through hard time why not see how to save people frm starvation rather than making laws that at the end they will be the one that will violate it

ats three said...

Well, i think the new development is in order. It's only proper for businesses to be regulated by the government though it must be fair.

inumidun said...

New dai, new development..