Uber, Bolt drivers commence one-week strike in Lagos, bemoan new regulations by Govt

Uber, Bolt drivers commence one-week strike in Lagos, bemoan new regulations by Govt

Drivers on e-hailing platforms — Uber and Bolt — in Lagos State are embarking on a week-strike starting on Monday; August 31, to protest against some aspects of the new regulations by the state.

This development was confirmed by the president of the National Union of Professional App-Based Workers, Ayoade Ibrahim.

Ibrahim explained that the representative of the union was not a party to the agreement reached between operators; such as Uber and Bolt, Lagos State and the Professional E-hailing Drivers and Private Owners Association.

“App companies like Uber and Bolt push their responsibility to us,” Ayoade said. “We want to negotiate with Lagos State Government about the regulations and our responsibility.”

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However, the representatives of Uber and Bolt are yet to issue an official statement regarding the development.

1st News had reported the announcement of the new regulations which were to become operational on August 20, but became modified after an initial outcry by the drivers on the burden the regulations will put on them.

For the drivers, one contentious regulation was the service tax to be charged on each trip while the e-hailing operators like Uber and Bolt were to pay up to N25 million license fee and N10 million annually for renewal of the license.

The commissioner for transport, Frederic Oladeinde said the government would instead charge N20 per trip instead of 20 percent of the charges for each trip. There was also a 20 percent reduction in the license and renewal fees.

The drivers were also given up to 90 days to complete the necessary paperwork.

However, Ayoade revealed that his union, which had already had five meetings with the official of the state’s Ministry of Transportation, was deliberately sidelined from the August meeting with the governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, because of its stance on the new regulations.

He said parts of the amended regulations still put heavy burdens on the drivers.

“They did not call us for the final conclusion with Mr Governor,” Ayoade said. “They know our stand. That is why they sidelined us during the governor’s meeting. They denied us the opportunity to tell Mr Governor of our problems.”

 

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