After months of bickering, bike-hailing companies have finally reached an agreement with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), two of the biggest road transport unions in Nigeria.
According to sources privy to the discussions, riders affiliated with these startups will buy a ₦500 daily ticket that allows them to operate anywhere in the state without the fear of harassment.
Negotiations have been on for months between bike hailing companies and the two unions. For months, the unions have harassed riders affiliated with ORide, MAX and Gokada, forcing them to pay levies to operate in many parts of Lagos.
After a series of meetings, the unions had originally proposed a ₦1000 daily ticket which was rejected by the startups.
The new agreement was brokered by the Lagos State government, which has stood by as the unions extorted, harassed and beat up bike-hailing riders.
As part of the new ticketing arrangement, the NURTW and RTEAN will each receive ₦200 while ₦100 will go to the local government where the ticket was sold.
However, the new deal does not provide much relief for bike-hailing companies. While they may not have to worry about transport unions, the Lagos State government is still planning to go ahead with its proposed licence for startups.
MAX, ORide and Gokada are three of the biggest bike-hailing companies in Lagos State, with over 1,000 riders each. The new agreement means each of their riders will pay a total ₦182,500 to operate in Lagos in one year.
It’s unclear at this point if the bike-hailing companies will give riders these levies or the riders will pay out of pocket.
A high-ranking official at a bike-hailing startup confirmed the conversations but couldn’t say when the levies are due to kick in.