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Uber, Bolt drivers go on strike over Lagos new tax

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Drivers of Uber, Bolt in Lagos on Monday started a week-long strike action to protest certain aspects of new regulations by the Lagos State government.

National Union of Professional App-Based Workers, which announced the strike action said their decision to go on strike was meant to force the government to postpone the implementation of its recent e-hailing regulations.

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Ayoade Ibrahim, President, National Union of Professional App-Based Workers, said that the union was not involved with the agreement reached between Lagos State, the Professional E-hailing Drivers and Private Owners Association and operators of Uber and Bolt.

“App companies like Uber and Bolt push their responsibility to us,” Ayoade said. “We want to negotiate with Lagos State Government about the regulations and our responsibility.”

Frederic Oladeinde, Lagos state commissioner for transport said the government would charge N20 per trip instead of 20 percent of the charges for each trip alongside a 20 percent reduction in the license and renewal fees.

The Lagos state government announced on August 14 that the new regulations which were to become operational on August 20 have been modified after an initial outcry by the drivers on the burden the regulations will put on them.

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For the drivers, one contentious regulation was the service tax to be charged on each trip while the e-hailing operators like Uber and Bolt were to pay up to N25 million license fee and N10 million annually for renewal of the license.

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But Ayoade had argued that his union was sidelined from the meeting with the governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. However National Union of Professional App-Based Workers, according to Ayoade had already had five meetings with the officials of the state’s Ministry of Transportation but the union had been sidelined from the meeting with the governor.

“They did not call us for the final conclusion with Mr Governor,” Ayoade said. “They know our stand. That is why they sidelined us during the governor’s meeting. They denied us the opportunity to tell Mr Governor of our problems.”

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