Lawyer and Social Commentator Dr. Charles Omole has said the Lagos State Government should engage with ride companies and find a solution that will not tarnish Lagos to Foreign Investors who will be concerned about security of any future investment due to regulatory uncertainty.
Omole who is also a security expert, said this in a series of tweets on his official twitter handle, stated that we need to maintain Lagos as shinning light for a new Nigeria.
See his tweets below…
In my Thread this morning, the SSA to LASG took issue with my claim that the Ride companies paid Licensing fees to LASG & called my thread Fake News. Leaving aside his lack of manners, I went back to my sources who clarified more matters clearly.
I have also spoken to the Legal counsel to one of the companies who provided me corroboration of the facts I was given by my sources. So here are the facts: 1. The company pay about N29K to LASG for each bike they have annually. From Levies, to LASAMA fee, to LG charges etc
While this is not called “license fee”, one of d companies have about 2,000 bikes. That’s N58Million in total annually. This money is paid to diff agencies of LASG, LG levies etc. So it is not one lump sum but in bits. So what’s the point arguing about nomenclature of money paid.
These companies have Thousands of Motorcycles and employ thousands of Nigerians.
3. One of the companies alone has invested $15Million in this venture so far.
4. Their Rides are all over the minimum specified by Law to ply the highways, so they are not breaking any law.
They have had several meetings with LASG on need for official Licensing. While this has not yet been agreed, they have received several assurances and that is why they pay the 29K yearly in all manner of fees to the LASG.
Last year, the NURTW & the other road union started harassing their drivers to pay levies to them. LASG intervened & brokered a solution that the Ride firms should pay the Road unions N400 per day per Motorcycle. They started making the payments and the unions left them alone.
The riders all have comprehensive insurance that also covers the passengers. Each Motorcycle has trackers so they know the location of each ride every time.
So while they may have not paid “licensing fee” to LASG, they pay 29K per bike per annum & N400 daily per bike to unions
The companies claimed they were not consulted at all before the Ban was announced. They were in conversation with the LASG at late as November 2019 and all looked well at that time. So they do not know the basis of this change of mind by the govt.
I am not an advocate for these companies but for Good Govt. I have gone to this length just to say that while LASG’s claim that they have not collected any licence fees is true, collecting 29K annually for each bike in all manner of charges amounts to legitimising these business.
I will be doing another Thread later to suggest possible licensing regime the LASG can use to regulate this businesses so that the baby is not thrown out with the bath water. Security MUST come first; but these business have borrowed foreign investments & LASG reputation matters
A licensing regime of N25Million annually was proposed at one time; but while that has not been agreed yet; these firms pay 1000s to LASG annually per Bike. So of it looks like a dog, barks like a dog…it is a dog. No need playing semantics or word trick. They pay LASG; simple.
I will suggest the govt engage with these firms to find a solution that will not tarnish Lagos to Foreign Investors who will be concerned about security of any future investment due to regulatory uncertainty. We need to maintain Lagos as shinning light for a new Nigeria.
Due process has to be followed. It will be unfair to make firms govt has been collecting money from annually & met with severally lose their investment needlessly. Lagosians need the relief that regulated Okada provides to make life easier for all. It’s not too late to fix this.
So the LASG agent was right by stating these firms have not paid “licensing fee”. That is technically true. But he forgot to admit the LASG still collect Millions annually from these same firms under different headlines. That is the crux of my point, not argument over nomenclature.