- Banned Bike-hailing firms Ride, Gokada and MaxNG are in talks with the Lagos State Government to lift the ban.
- The COVID-19 lockdown has stalled the resolution of the talks.
- The demand for bike-hailing services in Lagos state is at an all-time high.
Bike-hailing firms ORide, Gokada and MaxNG are in talks with the Lagos State government to lift the ban that was imposed on them last February.
The Babajide Sanwo-Olu led-administration banned commercial motorcycles and tricycles operating throughout the state in major 15 local governments and development areas of local councils. The controversial ban had also been applied to tech-driven bike-hailing operators.
However, the government could change its policy, as both parties are on the negotiating table. A source from Oride, said, “We never stopped discussions, we never stopped engaging as regards the government even before the ban came.”
“We’ve always been hopeful, we’ve never told ourselves it’s not going to happen, I guess that’s why those conversations are still going down because we are hopeful, that one time or one day the government will actually give room for an alternative means of transportation within the city.”
The negotiation has, however, been delayed due to the Coronavirus outbreak which the Lagos State government is currently battling.
When the Media Liaison of Gokada, Odion Aleobua, was asked about the ongoing talks, he simply stated that, “We are still in lockdown, so I can’t give you confirmation on that information.”
The revenue potential is a propelling factor which could lead the Lagos State Government to reconsider the prohibition. Lagos has a huge demand for their operations with around 4 to 5 million rides a day.
Gokada’s co-CEO, Ayodeji Adewunmi, had estimated the industry could have revenue opportunities worth around $3 billion to $5 billion.
Also, there are reports that the state decided to impose a N25 million license fee for the operators. MAX’s CEO and co-founder, Adetayo Bamiduro, claimed that a government official recommended the license fee for Ride-hailing operators, which was frowned upon by others.
Although Country Manager of OPay the founding company of ORide, Iniabasi Akpan said last year that “Nothing has been finalised; discussions are ongoing about it. So definitely, there’s going to be a license fee.”
Another factor that could lead to the return of motorcycles, particularly the motorcycle hailing firms and services, is that they obey Lagos’ traffic laws. The Lagos State Road Traffic Management Authority has clarified that only motorcycles or tricycles with a minimum engine power of 200cc can ply the roads.
This requirement is followed by ORide, MAX.ng and Gokada, all of which operate with motorcycles that have above 200cc engine capacity. And all the operators are open to regulation by the State government.
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