Members of the Transportation Hailing Alliance of Nigeria, THAN, a group of the nation’s leading motorcycle operators presently comprised of MAX.ng, ORide and Gokada, were among the organisations that said to have aligned themselves with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration in Lagos in tackling the challenges of transportation in the State.
In fact, during THAN’s end of year meeting (last December), the members praised the Governor and his team for not relenting in taking on the daunting challenges of transportation in a fast-growing mega city like Lagos.
The group also assured all critical government stakeholders in the state’s transport industry of continued cooperation and support.
Commenting on the outcome of the meeting, the Chief Executive Officer of MAX, Adetayo Bamiduro said “ Our goal as an industry is to align quickly with the Government on an agreeable framework. For us, this means both levies that are feasible and partnering to deploy technology infrastructure that helps the government achieve it’s broader vision of a smart city.”
Well, little did they know that their investments would be threatened as the Government said today that after a critical review of the activities of ‘Commercial Motorcycle’ operators in the State it has become expedient to ban their operations except in about 50 routes.
The funds are going down the drain?
In May 2019, on-demand motorcyle ride-hailing startup Gokada announced that it has raised a $5.3-million Series-A round led by San Francisco-based Rise Capital.
Around June 2019, Nigerian motorcycle transit startup MAX.ng has raised a $7 million funding round led by Novastar Ventures, with participation from Japanese manufacturer Yamaha.
Less than four months ago, OPay, the parent company of ORide raised $120million. That was after raising $50million earlier in the year (2019).
If you take into account that these startups have made some investments and some Tier II operators, then, the figure may be far above $200million.
Recall that these bike-hailing startups in Lagos were hinted on paying thousands of dollars in State fees.
The State Government reportedly proposed new regulation, including licensing fees, required for them to operate as part of local transportation infrastructure.
Under the proposed regulation, each startup will pay annual licensing fees of 25 million naira ($70,000) per 1,000 bikes and then 30,000 naira ($83) per bike after the first set of 1,000.
Sometime in August last year, a team from the pioneer moto-taxi hailing service provider in Nigeria, MAX.ng visited the Governor of Lagos State, sharing with him the revolution which the startup made in the state’s transport system and employment generation.
After all that, the State said it is time to further regulate the sub-sector, ultimately, for the safety of the citizens.
Why we are banning Commercial Motorcycles – Lagos State Government
Lagos State Government on Monday, January 27, 2020 wielded the big stick against the menace of commercial motorcycles (Okada) and tricycles (Keke NAPEP), proscribing their operations in six Local Government Areas (LGAs), nine Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) and 10 major highways across the State with effect from February 1.
The State Government directed security operatives to embark on a total enforcement of the State’s Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018 to immediately address the chaos and disorderliness created by illegal operations of Okada and tricycle riders in restricted areas.
Besides, the Government also banned Okada and tricycles from plying 40 bridges and flyovers across the State.
Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, who made the announcement at the State House in Alausa, said the measures were taken by the Government in response to “scary figures” of fatal accidents recorded from operations of Okada and tricycles in the State between 2016 and 2019.
Omotoso said the lack of regard for the Lagos Traffic Laws by the Okada and tricycle riders had resulted in preventable loss of lives, adding that their impermissible movements on restricted highways had also contributed to traffic jams.
He said: “After a robust assessment of the debate on what has been widely referred to as the motorcycle (Okada) and tricycle (Keke) menace, the Lagos State Government and the State Security Council have decided that the security and safety of lives of Lagosians are paramount.
“The figures are scary. From 2016 to 2019, there were over 10,000 accidents recorded at the General Hospitals alone. This number excludes unreported cases and those recorded by other hospitals. The total number of deaths from reported cases is over 600 as at date.
“Also, the rate of crimes aided by Okada and Keke keeps rising. They are also used as getaway means by criminals. Therefore, after consultations with stakeholders, the State Security Council, in compliance with the extant Transport Sector Reform Law 2018, has decided to commence enforcement of the law which bans the operation of Okada and Keke in six Local Government Areas and nine Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).”
Omotoso said the enforcement would be total, warning that the Government would deal with violators in accordance with the Laws. He added that there would be zero tolerance for the movement of the banned vehicles on the listed highways and bridges.
According to the Commissioner, operations of Okada and Keke NAPEP have been banned in the following LGAs and LCDAs: Apapa LGA, Apapa Iganmu LCDA, Lagos Mainland LGA, Yaba LCDA, Surulere LGA, Itire-Ikate LCDA, and Coker-Aguda LCDA.
Others are Ikeja LGA, Onigbongbo, LCDA, Ojodu LCDA, Eti-Osa LGA, Ikoyi-Obalende LCDA, and Iru-Victoria Island LCDA, Lagos Island LGA and Lagos Island East LCDA.
The Okada and Keke NAPEP are restricted on the following highways and bridges:
- Lagos-Ibadan Expressway
- Apapa-Oshodi Expressway
- Oworonshoki-Oshodi Expressway
- Lagos-Ikorodu Expressway
- Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway
- Eti-Osa/Lekki-Epe Expressway
- Lagos-Badagry Expressway
- Funsho Williams Avenue
- Agege Motor Road
- Eti-Osa Lekki Coastal Road
- Iyana- Ipaja Bridge Agege
- Dopemu Bridge Agege
- Airport/Ikeja Bridge
- Agege Motor road/oshodi Loop, Oshodi
- Mushin/Isolo Link Bridge
- Dorman Long Bridge
- Ojuelegba Bridge
- National Stadium Flyover
- Apapa-Iganmu Bridge
- Apapa-Ijora Link Bridge
- Liverpool Bridge, Apapa
- Mile 2 Bridge-Loop, Amuwo-Odofin
- Okota (cele)/Ijesha Link Bridge
- Apakun/Apapa-Oshodi Bridge Network
- Ikorodu Road/Anthony Clover leaf Bridge
- Trade Fair Flyover Bridge
- Festac/Amuwo-Odofin Link Bridge
- 2 Flyover Bridges along Alhaji Masha Road
- Ojota Clover leaf Bridge
- Ogudu Bridge
- 3rd Mainland Bridge
- Maryland flyover
- Ikeja General Hospital Flyover Bridge
- Kodesoh Bridge, Oba Akran, Ikeja
- Opebi Link Bridge
- Sheraton-Opebi Bridge
- Jibowu/Yaba flyover Bridge
- Carter Bridge, Lagos
- Bariga-Ifako Bridge
- Apapa-Oshodi Expressway/Alapere Bridge
- Bariga/Oworonsoki Bridge
- Apapa-Oshodi Expressway/Gbagada U-Turn
- Apapa-Oshodi Expressway
- 3rd Mainland/Oworonsoki Bridge
- Eko Bridge
- Apongbon flyover Bridge
- Cowry Bridge (Officers Mess)
- Mcwen Bridge (Bonny Camp)
- Marina/Ikoyi Bridge
- Ikoyi/Obalende Bridge
Transportation Hailing Alliance of Nigeria (THAN), have not made any official statement at the time of filling this report.