Govt gives 90 days for regularization of documents
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Government after a three- hour meeting with e-hailing ride operators on Friday, agreed on newly introduced service charge on every trip made through e-hailing platforms like Uber and Bolt, among other guidelines.
The state government, therefore announced the commencement date for the implementation of the new levies on operators to August 27, 2020.
Recall that the new regulation for e-hailing taxing services was earlier scheduled to come into effect on August 20, 2020.
This was contained in a document by the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation titled: Guidelines for Online Hailing Business Operation of Taxi in Lagos State 2020’ issued.
According to Part 4.1 subsection 5 of the document titled, ‘e-Hailing Taxi Operation’, all drivers must pay 10 per cent generated on every trip to the Lagos State Government.
“All operators of e-hailing taxi service must pay the state government 10 per cent service tax on each transaction paid by passengers to the operators,” the document partly read.
The measure was arrived after the state Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, with some members of the state Executive Council held a meeting with e-hailing operators at Lagos House, Marina.
The Commissioner for Transport, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, said the state Government has reached an agreement with operators to now charge N10 per cent per trip instead of earlier proposed 20 per cent per trip charge.
He stated that the N20 per trip charges would be housed under the Road Improvement Fund.
The commissioner said this understanding was arrived at after the Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu along with some executive council members held a meeting with e-hailing operators.
Oladeinde revealed that other agreements reached include 20 per cent reduction in the operating and renewal license fees, aside drivers completing their documentation within the next 90 days.
He added that the documents the drivers should acquire include the Lagos State Registration Agency card, drivers license, among other documents, saying drivers who failed to comply would be banned from operating among other penalties. He further said that a one-stop shop had been created to ensure that the drivers all the required documents easily.
Oladeinde revealed that it was also agreed that the operators should take comprehensive insurance for each vehicle, while the driver takes a third party insurance. He also said the operators had been told to do a background check on each driver, which the state government hopes would promote safety.
The Commissioner said the operators were also mandated to provide data about each trip made on their platforms every week, stating that the data would help government to plan better on areas it should deploy resources.
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.
He said steps taken by the state government were aimed at providing a good environment for businesses to thrive aside promoting safety and security of residents and commuters. Omotoso added that the regulation was not about imposing taxes but safety.
The President of Professional E-hailing Drivers and Private Owners Association, Mr. Idris Shonuga urged e-hailing drivers to comply with the state government directives.
He commended the state government for helping to resolves all the grey areas.
Following mutually accepted points were agreed by all parties. There must be comprehensive insurance cover which will cover drivers and passengers.
A flat fee of N20 to be known as a Road Improvement Fund and to be levied on each ride.
A reduction of 20 per cent on the operational licencing fees.
90 days compliance with documentation- there will be a one stop shop for all documentation.
E-hailing Companies to work with various bodies in the business for a good relationship.
There must be due diligence and background checks done on all drivers.
Riders and drivers to desist from offline trips and transactions.
E-hailing firms must make all necessary data available to the Government.