Lagos clamps down on Uber, Ocar others over permits

February 8, 2020
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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.

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.”

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

According to a source in the VIS, 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.

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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