Lagos govt says it is going to use security agencies to enforce ban on Okada, bike ride-hailing services, and motorcycles

Bike ride-hailing startups in Lagos, Nigeria
  • Lagos government says ban placed on motorcycles and tricycles, including bike ride-hailing startups.
  • Nigeria's biggest city claims motorcycles and tricycles are not part of the Lagos masterplan
  • From February 1, 2020, the government says it will ensure total compliance on motorcycles and tricycles using security operatives.

Lagos state government has reiterated that the ban placed on motorcycle and tricycle is total and affects all riders, including bike ride-hailing startups.

In Lagos, Nigeria's biggest city and commercial nerve center, ORide, Max NG, and Gokada are prominent among bike riders offering tech-enabled transportation services for the masses in an economy plagued with traffic mess.

Before now, various startups in the mobility sector have capitalised on the Lagos State extant laws, which exempt bikes above 200cc to operate on major roads. With this part of the law, startup founders and stakeholders believed the new ban rules exempt them.

But Dr. Frederick Olaseinde, the Lagos State commissioner of transport, said bike ride-hailing firms were not included in the state's mega plan.

Olaseinde told TechCabal that “motorcycles and tricycles are not part of the Lagos masterplan”. “They came in because there is a gap, but they don’t have a place in a mega-city because of security and safety,” the platform quoted him as saying.

On Saturday, February 1st, 2020, the government said it will enforce total compliance on motorcycles and tricycles plying listed roads and routes.

“Effective tomorrow, February 1, 2020, enforcement agencies comprising of Nigerian Police, Army, LASTMA and others will be on the road to ensure total compliance,” Mrs. Yemi Ogunlola, PRO, Ministry of Transport, Lagos state.

When asked about the N25 million regulatory licensing talk between bike ride-hailing startups and the government, the Ministry's Public Relations Office denied comments.

“All I know is that all of them have been banned. And the ban is total,” she told Business Insider SSA on Friday, January 31st, 2020.

In a separate interview with TV Continental, the Lagos state commissioner of transport said the government did not register any of the bike ride-hailing startups.

Any cause of alarm for investors

For some of the bike ride-hailing startups, the mobility sector is like an added advantage to their operations.

Just instance, OPay is using ORide to ensure more Nigerians are onboarded into the financial space through its tech-enabled platform, capitalising on the transportation mess in the state to achieve this aim.

For Max Ng, logistics is its core aim with the MAXBusiness.

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