No Clampdown on Uber Drivers—Lagos

Uber drivers

By Dipo Olowookere

Say VIS Only Conducting Random Vehicle Checks

Operators of the popular car-hailing firm, Uber, have been warned by the Lagos State government to stop using blackmail to draw public sympathy.

In a statement issued on Monday, the state government said it was totally false for the operators to claim that officials of the Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS) were disturbing its drivers, causing them various economic losses.

According to the statement, the VIS officials are only performing their statutory duty of facilitating compliance with the road traffic laws by ensuring motorists possess the stipulated vehicle documents, such as roadworthiness, vehicle licence, drivers licence, insurance certificate, hackney permit and the Lagos State Drivers Institute (LASDRI) card for all categories of commercial commuter vehicles.

The state government said the allegation by Uber operators, especially on the social media, that the sum of N110,000 was demanded from their drivers as operational licence fees was “totally untrue, unsubstantiated, unreasonable and a ploy to win public sympathy.”

It said Uber operators were merely out to make mischief as they would not tell the public that their members whose vehicles were apprehended contravened one law or the other.

“No operator has a right to drive around without a driver’s licence. When such an erring operator who plies Lagos roads with expired vehicle particulars is exposed by the Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) machines and his vehicle is impounded, he does not need to resort to blackmail or seek public sympathy,” the statement said.

The state government said it challenges any operator with such evidence to bring it to the public domain for proof, saying in the last three weeks, VIS officials have apprehended close to 1,000 vehicles for various offences, ranging from non-possession of valid drivers’ licence to driving with expired vehicle particulars, adding that on 20 Uber vehicles were among those impounded.

The Lagos State government advised commercial vehicles with valid documents to go about their normal operations without any fear.

“Those with incomplete or expired documentation should validate their papers as the government will continue to apprehend all violators of the law,” it emphasised.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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