You know I admire them: the entrepreneurs who believe in the unbounded promise of the future. Many would have folded after the motorcycle ban, concluding that “the government policy has killed our vision”. But Gokada is not going to just give up. It is out with a new product called Chop, a food delivery business. Call it resilience and that is what it takes.
As the federal tax agency invents a methodology to tax street traders in Nigeria, and Uber drivers mandated to register as commercial vehicles (and Uber as a transport company), things will get hotter. But one thing is evident: just like you expect customer habits to change, model the regulatory system in Nigeria as evolutionary.
An official of the Lagos Vehicle Inspection Services told The Guardian that commercial vehicle drivers and those on Uber and other ride-hailing platforms must be certified by the Lagos Drivers’ Institute before they can operate in the state.
Moreover, drivers on ride-hailing platforms must have hackney permits. This means they have to change their vehicle registration to commercial.
Another official of the VIS said Uber has also not paid an operator license fee to the state government.
“You need to have what we call operator license, which Uber was supposed to pay to the government,” the official said in a telephone conversation with an Uber driver. The Guardian has a record of that phone conversation. “Uber has no operator license.”
The way it is looking right now, Uber, Bolt, etc could be thrown out of business through these regulatory paralyses. I pity Uber because in London or New York, when a driver has an issue, he files legal paperworks and speaks grammar via Uber. Here in Lagos, they will seize the car, deflate the tires, put the car in a garage, then ask him to pay. Later, when he returns, after payment, he needs to use a “certified” vulcanizer to get the tires up. When done with that experience, no one will tell the driver to uninstall the Uber driver app!