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Max.ng, Gokada faults govt ban, call for sector regularization

A coalition of operators leveraging technology within the transportation hailing industry has faulted the position of the Lagos State Government in its recent decision including its riders in the ban on commercial motorcycles operating in some routes in the State and urged the government to rather commence the regularization of the sector as against outright ban.

Speaking yesterday at a Press Conference jointly addressed by Metro Africa Xpress (MAX.ng) and Gokada, the Co-Founder and CEO of MAX.ng, Adetayo Bamiduro noted that they have since inception complied with the Lagos State rules guiding commercial motorbike operations in the State.

His words, “In communicating the decision to restrict the operations of commercial motorcycles and tricycles in the affected areas, the government spokesperson cited “Safety and Security concerns” as the primary reasons for the decision. In one of the videos clips made available while responding to a query on whether formalized motorcycle hailing operators are exempted from the ban, the Commissioner for Transportation remarked that, “All forms of motorcycle and ‘Keke Napeps’ are banned”.

The government’s spokesperson relied on the Lagos State transport sector reform law 2018 as the legal backing for this decision. The referenced law restricts motorcycles from operating on major highways in the state but however makes an exception for motorcycles with engine capacity above 200cc. This has always being a guideline for our operations and investments as we have always operated in compliance with all existing laws and regulations, including compliance with engine capacity requirements”.

Bamiduro further maintained that all their motorcycles “are 220cc engines, a 10 percent premium above the regulatory requirement”.

“For clarity, Section 15 of the Lagos State Transport Sector Reform (Road Traffic Regulations) states that “subject to the provision of section 46 of this law, motorcycles above 200cc are exempted from the restriction on the use of motorcycles on the State highways. Section 46 is the general provision that restricts motorcycles and tricycles from highways in the State”, he added.

Collaborating Bamiduro’s statement, the Pilot Operations Manager at Gokada, Victor Daminabo noted that they are also fully compliant with the provisions of the law prohibiting the operations of motorcycles without rider and passenger helmets amongst others.

His words, “We are also fully compliant with the requirements of the law prohibiting the operations of motorcycles without rider and passenger helmets, carrying more than one passenger, comprehensive insurance etc”.

“In addition to being fully compliant with the relevant laws, we have also in the course of our constant engagements with the government, demonstrated that we have the infrastructure and investments to address all safety and security concerns regarding the operations of motorcycles in the state”, he added.

The group also expressed fears that the directive by the Lagos State Government to ban commercial motorcycles and tricycles from operating in the said area from February 1, might lead to over 3000 job losses for drivers, and full-time staff of the companies and also affect the massive investment already made by both local and foreign investors in the industry.

The group noted that “the startups are not giving up hope on convincing the Government to commence regularization of the sub-sector as against outright ban.

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