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 \u201ctotally untrue, unsubstantiated, unreasonable and a ploy to win public sympathy.\u201d 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. \u201cNo operator has a right to drive around without a driver\u2019s 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,\u201d 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\u2019 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. \u201cThose with incomplete or expired documentation should validate their papers as the government will continue to apprehend all violators of the law,\u201d it emphasised.