Some things you can’t escape death, taxes, Lagos traffic. We all knew the big ban was just the beginning of a very illogical scheme by the Lagos state government and as expected the wind has blown and the buttocks of the Eyo masquerade has been exposed.
If you haven’t already heard, the Lagos state Government has decided to set their sights on our dearly beloved taxi services, Über and Taxify. For those of us who grew up in Lagos, the arrival of Uber was like Manna from heaven because we were struggling under the tyranny of Lagos state cabs. They were basically private danfos. Doors that had to be kicked sometimes to get them open, dirty seats…… in short dirty everything and the lack of AC. So you’d pay a couple thousands and still be assaulted by the traffic AND the smells.
The online cab hailing service brought with it comprehensive rates which we could temper with promo codes and bonuses that we would never have gotten from the yellow and black cabs. The equivalent of a promo code was “befriending” a cab driver and making him your guy which would mean slight reductions in your fare but this was still not guaranteed. Über also set a standard for their cars. They were to be in good condition and since there was a rating system, the drivers tried to be on their A-game; not all of them had sense but at least they put effort. For those of us young, dumb, broke-ish undergraduates, going for a night out was no longer a struggle because the nighttime is when roads are free but will you go and enter the car of some sketchy looking old man with no way for your loved ones to keep track of the journey? Coz like…… how many of your uni friends have cars?
But last last e don happen. From the 20th of August, online cab hailing services are to pay the Lagos State Government 10 million naira for every 1,000 cars; how they arrived at this figure we don’t know. In addition, they are to renew their “license” to operate in Lagos with 5 million naira annually. It doesn’t end there, 10% of every fare paid by a passenger will be collected by the state as “service tax”.
If you can’t already see what this is turning into let me help you……the Government is basically applying the agbero method of doing things; collect money at all cost. You would think they let it rest there, lol. All cabs must be BRAND NEW!!!! Or if not brand new, within the first 3 years of manufacture. So basically nobody is allowed to drive anything older than a 2017 model this year.
A moment to emphasise this particular term. The government wants brand new or 3 year old cars …..in this economy!?! When the state cabs look like something Bumblebee would puke out if it had a bad hangover. If anybody told me 5 years ago that doing drugs would get you nowhere, I would have agreed.
The meaning of all this is simple. MORE MONEY. Fares are going to spike up now more than ever. You would think the Government would at least put some measures in place to ensure the welfare of the drivers is maintained in the midst of all these their demands for money but unfortunately expecting the government to care about the people is like asking a chicken to bark. We can kiss promo codes goodbye at this point and with the way Lagos traffic is…..
Gone are the nights when you and your guys/girls would go for a night out and each person would hold 1k for Über and there would even be change to tip the driver if he/she was nice. Now everybody eye don tear reach back. Some people would argue that the Government is making a good decision. Why use these “foreign services” when we have our own Lagos State cabs? We are putting the cab drivers out of business..we should patronise our own………
If the state can’t step up their game, then it’s time for the drivers of tomorrow to take the wheel. At this point we shouldn’t be surprised if there’s more up the sleeves of the Government, nothing really is a surprise anymore; it’s 4 days till the enactment maybe a miracle will happen.
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