The Lagos State government on Friday, August 14, rescinded the plan to impose a 10 per cent service charge on every trip made through e-hailing platforms like Uber and Bolt.
The Commissioner for Transport, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, made this known to newsmen; after a three-hour meeting of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, some executive council members and e-hailing operators.
Oladeinde said that the state government had reached an agreement with operators and the decision is to now charge N20 per trip instead of 10 per cent of the charges for each trip.
He said that the N20 per trip charge, which would take effect from August 27, 2020; would be known as Road Improvement Fund.
The commissioner said that other agreements reached to include a 20 per cent reduction in the operating; as well as renewal license fees.
He added that drivers had been urged to complete their documentation within the next 90 days.
Oladeinde said that the documents that the drivers should acquire include the Lagos State Registration Agency card and drivers licence.
According to him, drivers who fail to comply will be banned from operating, among other penalties.
He said that a one-stop-shop had been created to ensure that drivers process all the required documents easily.
Oladeinde said that it was also agreed that the operators should take comprehensive insurance for each vehicle, while the driver took a third party insurance.
He also said that the operators had been charged to do a background check on each driver; which the state government hoped would promote safety.
The commissioner said that the operators were also mandated to provide data about each trip made on their platforms every week.
According to him, the data would help the government to plan better on areas it should deploy resources.
He said the new regulations were not initiated by the Government to extort the operators and drivers in the business; he stressed that the Government was moved by the necessity to regularise the ride-hailing operations in line with security measures.
From the communique read out after the meeting, the enforcement of the new regulations will now take off from August 27, 2020 instead August 20 initially announced by the Government. By implication, the operators now have additional seven-day extension to comply with the Government’s regulations.
Oladehinde said the State Government and the operators had reached an agreement on the controversial service tax, which is to be known as Road Improvement Fund. He said e-hailing operators would be paying N20 as Road Improvement Fund and it is to be levied on each trip all their drivers make in a day.
The Commissioner said Governor Sanwo-Olu offered a duty incentive to the operators, reducing their statutory operational licencing fee and renewal fee by 20 per cent. This implies that each e-hailing firm will now pay N8 million per 1,000 cars fresh licencing and renewal, instead of N10 million initially announced.
The parties, Oladehinde said, also agreed on procurement of comprehensive insurance by the e-hailing companies to cover their drivers and passengers.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy; Mr Gbenga Omotoso said there was no strain in the relationship between the state government and the operators.
Omotoso said that steps taken by the state government were aimed at providing a good environment for businesses to thrive, aside from promoting the safety and security of residents and commuters.
He said the regulation was not about imposing taxes but safety.
Meanwhile, the President of Professional e-hailing Drivers and Private Owners Association, Idris Shonuga implored e-hailing drivers to comply with the state government directives.
Shonuga lauded the state government for helping to resolve all the grey areas.