Lagos State Ministry of Transportation has threatened to shut down the activities of ride-hailing company Uber in the State.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawanson noted while speaking at a Stakeholders’ Forum organized by the Ministry recently that the company risks its operations being grounded should they fail to comply with regulations.
Responding to questions and comments from invited guests after the presentation of proposed Lagos State Transportation Policy, Mr. Ladi mentioned that Uber was operating illegally in the country and by extension, Lagos state.
“They have been in operating in Nigeria for quite some time now, they have not registered to do business in the country and are yet to pay one kobo of tax in Nigeria, he said.
“As regards Lagos State, they have refused to be regulated and have also not paid any tax. The only e-hailing company that has any relationship with us in terms of regulation is Taxify. No other one has submitted themselves.”
“Being the ministry of transportation, we have the duty to regulate transportation for many reasons which include safety, security and generate revenue to maintain the roads that we ply on.”
Recalled that Uber was faced with similar problems in other big cities in the world. In the UK, Transport for London stripped it of its license in late 2017, saying it was not a “fit and proper” operator.
The company was then awarded a short-term 15-month license for London in June last year, with London mayor Sadiq Khan saying the firm had been “put on probation”.
Mr. Ladi also mentioned that the disruptive nature exhibited by the company wherever it goes would not be tolerated in Lagos.
“We also want to protect our citizens and the interest of our “local yellow taxis” who submit and registered for regulations.
“Ubers comes with the app and refuse to be regulated, and claiming to be a technology company and not a transport company while moving humans.
The commissioner further confirmed that the ministry would author a public notice requesting that they (Uber) come in or risk their business getting shut down in Nigeria.
Uber is still the most popular ride-hailing company in Lagos but closely followed by Taxify, a rival that was said to have complied with Lagos state government tax policy.
Uber currently operates in Abuja, Nigeria’s political capital but there are indications that the company’s fortune in the city is nowhere new its Lagos revenue profile due to the affordable taxi system in the city. There is no indication that it will face similar shut down in the federal capital territory.
Uber could not be immediately reached for comment on the matter.