Bolt, a ride-hailing company, in collaboration with the Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS), organised the first driver-led Safety Summit and Sensitisation on the new regulations for e-hailing operations in the FCT.
The new regulations aimed at ensuring safety of passengers, drivers and other road users, also explained the process of obtaining statutory documents.
Durojaye Olalekan, assistant director, DRTS, explained that operators duly registered under the Companies Allied Matter Act 2020 will be required to obtain a licence to operate e-hailing and must have Application
Programming Interface integration with the regulators in the FCT.
He also said all e-hailing drivers must have a hybrid vehicle licence, hackney permit and must undergo training at the DRTS Model Drivers Institute to get their driver certification card, and drivers were encouraged to get their hybrid licence at no cost within the next three months.
At the safety panel session moderated by Bolt, drivers took the helm in steering the discussion towards enhancing safety measures and addressing various concerns. A unanimous consensus emerged, highlighting key areas of focus: The need for all ride-hailing operators to enforce passenger verification through the use of state-issued identification cards.
Participants expressed a strong desire to address and mitigate harassment issues premised on tax/levies in specific area councils, and the panel emphasised the significance of improved collaboration with driver union groups to facilitate comprehensive driver profiling and enhance safety.
These insights reflect a collective commitment to elevating safety standards within the industry.
Officials of the FCT administration stated during the question and answer session, in response to mitigating harassment in area councils, that the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) has no jurisdiction to collect revenue or impose taxes on e-hailing drivers.
The FCT administration constituted a joint revenue committee that is actively engaged in tax harmonisation efforts, and the committee has determined that vehicle-related taxes will be collected centrally by the FCT DRTS if any tax is imposed. There is also the existence of a court judgement that barred AMAC from daily collections of taxes in FCT except at motor parks.
The summit convened thought leaders in the FCT upholding safety standards and ensuring sanity in the transportation ecosystem.
Abdul-Lateef Bello, director, DRTS said, “today marks an epoch in our collective pursuit for a safer and more efficient public transportation system in the FCT, which is a testament to the dedication and resolve to shape the future of transportation through collaboration, education, and the use of cutting-edge technology and ensure that we put a stop to the harassment of app-based drivers in the FCT.”
“This summit is a collaborative effort between the DRTS and Bolt Nigeria,” said Ubokutom Nyah, secretary of FCT Transportation Secretariat, demonstrating commitment to safety, efficiency, and progress within the public transportation sector.