The Nigerian Federal House of Representatives has set up an investigative committee to put a searchlight on ride-hailing companies in the country, especially the leading brands such as Bolt and Uber.
The move was borne out of a suspicion that the Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-assisted transportation and ride-hailing companies may not be remitting taxes.
Rep. Ganiyu Abiodun representing Oshodi-Isolo Constituency 2, had moved a motion on the ‘urgent need to investigate the tax returns of information and technology and transport Companies in Nigeria.’ The House unanimously adopted the motion during a plenary session on Dec. 16.
He said ICT has improved transportation businesses, making them more accessible, affordable and profitable, especially in the urban areas. The investigation is to check if the ride-hailing companies complied with the Companies and Allied Matters Act, given that they provide online services.
According to Hon. Ganiyu Abiodun:
“In recent times, ICT has had significant impacts on the way organisations operate, as it offers tremendous opportunities such as storing, processing, retrieving, disseminating and sharing of information.
“ICT has created many job opportunities for unemployed persons as the people’s desire for comfortable ride services has enabled companies such as Bolt and Uber to spread widely across the country.
“Many transportation activities now occur through online booking and payments which make the ordering of the services easier and efficient.”
The lawmaker added that the typical weekly earnings of Bolt and Uber drivers vary from 60,000 to 120,000, with the ride-hailing companies deducting 20% and 25% of each driver’s profits, respectively, as commission.
“Cognisant that the companies have benefited from facilities of the Federal Government such as road and security network which grants them ease of doing business, thus they ought to be fully accountable and up to date in tax remittances”, he said.
The Deputy Speaker of the House of Rep., Ahmed Wase, ruled that the committee should report back within four weeks for further legislative action.