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MAX.ng explains why Lagos State should exempt them from okada ban

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Max.ng
  • While the Government’s statistics on accidents and fatalities is fairly accurate and speaks to an urgent need to regularize the industry, it doesn’t reflect how our model has been able to demonstrate a safe and secure alternative.
  • MAX has completed over 2-million trips with less than 100 incidents out of which less than 7 were serious, requiring a hospital visit. Till date, ‘our fatality rate has remained at 0%’.
Max.ng and Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Max.ng team recently visited Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Max.ng has said the Company is fully compliant with the requirement of the Lagos State Road Traffic Regulations.

The Company referred to the Law prohibiting the operation of motorcycles without rider and passenger helmets, carrying more than one passenger, comprehensive insurance etc in addition to other safety related violations.

MAX has assembled a reputable array of international partners and investors including Novastar Ventures, Alitheia Capital, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Yamaha and Mastercard who have invested millions of dollars into the social enterprise.

Recall that the Lagos State Government through its social media handles on 27 January 2019 announced that effective Feb. 1, 2020, commercial motorcycles and tricycles would no longer be allowed to operate in 6 LGAs and 15 Local Councils in Lagos State.

In communicating the decision to restrict the operations of commercial motorcycles and tricycles in the affected areas, the government’s spokesperson cited “safety and security concerns” as the primary reasons for the decision.

In one of the video 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 Motorcycles and Keke Napeps are banned…”

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The government’s spokesperson relied on the Lagos State Transport Sector Reform Law 2018 as the legal backing for this decision.

The referenced law, Max.ng is now arguing, 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 been a guideline for our operations and investments, as MAX has always operated in compliance with all existing laws and regulations, including compliance with engine capacity requirements. All MAX Motorcycles are 220cc engines, a 10% premium above the regulatory requirement”, the Company disclosed in a statement available to TechEconomy.ng.

Max.ng rider

Max.ng rider communicating with a potential customer

“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.

“We are also fully compliant with the requirement of the Law prohibiting the operation of motorcycles without rider and passenger helmets, carrying more than one passenger, comprehensive insurance etc. in addition to other safety related violations. As proof of this, at various engagements with the government, we have often been commended for reviving the helmet culture, which had died out over the years amongst motorcycle riders. This blanket directive extending the “ban” to commercial ride-hailing operators is therefore not in accordance with the extant law, which guides us as a legal business.

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“In addition to being fully compliant with the relevant laws, we have also, in the course of 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.

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“Our motorcycles are well branded and easily identifiable, eliminating the risk of anonymous crimes.  We track all motorcycles on our platform and can tell the exact location of all motorcycles in real-time. Our riders undergo a rigorous know-your-customer (KYC) process where we vet the rider’s details and that of the two guarantors they are required to provide. We have a world-class Driver Academy that trains drivers on defensive driving with a zero-tolerance policy for erring drivers who have low safety scores, disobey traffic rules or for other infractions.  Our average acceptance rate of drivers is about 40%, meaning our recruitment system filters out at least 6 out of every 10 driver applicants we get, as not fit for our safety and security standards.

“While the Government’s statistics on accidents and fatalities is fairly accurate and speaks to an urgent need to regularize the industry, it doesn’t reflect how our model has been able to demonstrate a safe and secure alternative.

MAX.ng

MAX.ng logistics bikes

“In the words of the Commissioner of Information and Strategy “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”

“In this light, it is important to mention that since inception, MAX has completed over 2-million trips with less than 100 incidents out of which less than 7 were serious, requiring a hospital visit. Till date, our fatality rate has remained at 0%.

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These figures are easily verifiable and have not been disputed by the Government at the different engagements we have had.

“In terms of social impact, MAX has created 2200 direct jobs for our drivers and full-time staff and 73,000 indirect jobs. We have demonstrated our ability to elevate the average monthly income of a rider on our platform to more than three times what their peers in the informal sector earn, with the additional benefit of ownership of premium quality vehicles within 12 months, and a further 40% increase in their earnings once they take full possession vehicles. This is transformational as it enables a driver to live a better life, meet basic needs and ensures a better future for their kids.  Beyond our safety records, this is one impact we are most proud of, as we see the chain benefit it delivers to their dependents. In a Nation with the burgeoning unemployment rate, we take this metric of our social impact very seriously.

Max.ng and Babajide Sanwo-Olu 2

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, his Deputy and the Max.ng team

Max.ng also said that quality of the drivers (riders) is second to none while the Company assured drivers, investors, partners, and customers that “we are working round the clock to address this situation and would explore all lawful means to seek a redress of this injustice”.

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