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LASG Meets E-Hailing Taxi Operators, Approves 20% Reduction In Operation Fee

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images 67 LASG Meets E-Hailing Taxi Operators, Approves 20% Reduction In Operation Fee

New Guidelines to Commence on August 27
The issue surrounding new guidelines for the regulation of E-hailing Taxi Operations has now been put to rest following a meeting between the Lagos State Government and the representatives of the E-hailing Operators in the State on Friday.
The meeting, which was held at the Lagos House, Marina and chaired by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was in response to the allegation by the operators that the State Government was planning to clamp down on e-hailing transport operations with the new operational guidelines, alleging that the aim was to ban all e-hailing business similar to what was done to commercial motorcycles and tricycles.
Briefing the newsmen on the outcome of the meeting, Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, disclosed that the State Government and the operators have agreed to reduce the e-hailing operation fees by 20 percent.
He added that the meeting also unanimously adopted the new regulations, after the parties involved jointly reviewed and fine-tuned some of the contentious items in the framework, stressing that the new regulations were not initiated by the Government to extort the operators and drivers in the business but meant to regularise the ride-hailing operations in line with security measures.
According to him, “The meeting agreed that enforcement of the new regulations will now take off from August 27, 2020, instead of August 20, 2020, initially announced by the Government. By implication, the operators now have an additional seven-day extension to comply with the Government’s regulations”.
Oladeinde said the State Government and the operators had reached an agreement on the controversial service tax, which is to be known as Road Improvement Fund, adding that the e-hailing operators would be paying N20 as Road Improvement Fund which will be levied on each trip the drivers make in a day.
The Commissioner said Governor Sanwo-Olu also offered duty incentives to the operators, reducing their statutory operational licensing fee and renewal fee by 20 percent, implying that each e-hailing firm will now pay N8 million per 1,000 cars new licensing and renewal, instead of N10 million initially announced.
While noting that the parties also agreed on procurement of comprehensive insurance by the e-hailing companies to cover their drivers and passengers, Oladeinde revealed that the State Government had granted all drivers on the e-hailing platforms an extension of 90 days to perfect all documents and licenses required for operation, including drivers licence and Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA) cards.
He further disclosed that the Government would create a special office for the drivers to fast-track necessary registration and documentation before the deadline while the operators have acceded to the Government’s position on thorough background check on the drivers for security and improved service delivery.
The Commissioner averred that all parties agreed to checkmate the illegal bypassing of e-hailing mobile apps by unscrupulous drivers, who take passengers offline to collect cash, warning those involved to desist from the fraudulent act as the Government’s enforcement team would arrest defaulters.
Speaking on the controversial issue of data, Oladeinde said: “We are not asking the e-hailing companies to release detailed data. All we are asking from them is the data for trip movement so that we can calculate the right charge and levy due to the Government. This data is to be supplied weekly”.
While noting that there was no burden of additional levy on passengers patronising the e-hailing services, he urged the e-hailing companies to work with stakeholders in the business for a better relationship.
Also speaking after the meeting, the Honourable Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, said there had been no strain in the relationship between the e-hailing operators and the State Government, pointing out that the new regulations were not to impose a tax burden on the business.
He said: “There is no iota of truth in the speculation that the Lagos Government is introducing a new tax regime. The introduction of the new regulations is about the security and smooth running of the business. It is all about ease of doing business in the State”.
The National President of Professional E-hailing Drivers and Private Owners Association (PEDPA), Comrade Idris Sonuga, praised Governor Sanwo-Olu for listening to the demands of the operators, saying the new regulations would enable the drivers to go about their businesses without harassment by law enforcement agencies.
According to him, “The meeting was successful. Governor Sanwo-Olu has done justice to all the grey areas. I use this opportunity to thank the Governor because he means well for the e-hailing community. I urge drivers to comply with the regulations and the deadlines given by the Government”.
The Chief Executive Officer of BMP Car, Mr Ezekiel Ojo, who spoke on behalf of the e-hailing companies, confirmed that all the operators were in agreement with the outcome of the meeting.
Other representatives of e-hailing firms that attended the meeting included Abisola Odukoya of Bolt Nigeria and Tola Odeyemi of Uber Nigeria.

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Petrol scarcity looms as NARTO begins strike Tuesday

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images 38 3 Petrol scarcity looms as NARTO begins strike Tuesday

Petrol scarcity may surface across the country as the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners on Monday ordered tanker drivers nationwide to halt operations beginning from Tuesday, September 22 , 2020 .
NARTO gave the directive in Abuja in protest against the Federal Government’ s ban on petroleum trucks above 45 , 000 litres from plying Nigerian roads .
NARTO is the umbrella organisation of all commercial vehicles owners in Nigeria engaged in the haulage of petroleum products , general cargoes , and movement of goods and passengers within the country and the West – African sub- region .
Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja, NARTO’ s National President , Yusuf Othman , said members of the association would have to park their trucks on Tuesday and Wednesday as a warning to government against the abrupt ban .
He said , “ NARTO received with grave shock the recent government decision to place immediate ban on all petroleum trucks above 45 , 000 litres capacity from plying Nigeria roads . ”
Othman said the sudden ban was highly insensitive and unappreciative of the efforts NARTO members in the sensitive distribution and supply chains of petroleum products across the country.
He said none of the major transport companies across the country could continue any form of operations with this policy within this short time frame , adding that if the ban was not lifted , the association would begin a full blown industrial action .
The NARTO president said , “ In view of the above , we are therefore constrained to allow the decision of all our members to park their trucks as from tomorrow, 22 nd to 23 rd September , 2020 , to prevail as warning .

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2023 : Nigerian – Born US Detective Unfolds Presidential Ambition Under APC

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images 4 5 2023 : Nigerian - Born US Detective Unfolds Presidential Ambition Under APC

Ahead of Nigeria’s next general election coming up in 2023, an American trained security expert and social critic, Sam Nwanti, has indicated his intention to vie for the presidential ticket of the All Progressive congress (APC), boasting that as an accomplished security management expert, he has all it takes to tackle the lingering insurgency in the land.
Nwanti, who is the proprietor of the Human Rights Network Initiative, from Mbieri in the Mbaitoli Local Government Area Imo State, told our correspondent that the inability of the Federal Government to engage the services of some foreign security experts was responsible for the nagging security challenges the country, which he said is porous.
As an American trained detective with formidable connection, Nwanti said he stood shoulder high among other interested aspirants to fight corruption and stabilize the nation’s wobbling economy of elected.
Insisting that it is the turn of the Southeast to produce the nation’s next president, Nwanti urged the Federal Government to dismantle the current security structure and to replace the serving service chiefs with much more competent hands to move the nation forward.

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FinCEN Files : US Places Atiku, Wives , Under International Banking Surveillance

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images 35 3 FinCEN Files : US Places Atiku, Wives , Under International Banking Surveillance

Secret U.S. government documents reveal that JPMorgan Chase, HSBC and other big banks have defied money laundering crackdowns by moving staggering sums of illicit cash for shadowy characters and criminal networks that have spread chaos and undermined democracy around the world.
The records show that five global banks — JPMorgan, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank and Bank of New York Mellon — kept profiting from powerful and dangerous players even after U.S. authorities fined these financial institutions for earlier failures to stem flows of dirty money.
U.S. agencies responsible for enforcing money laundering laws rarely prosecute megabanks that break the law, and the actions authorities do take barely ripple the flood of plundered money that washes through the international financial system.
In some cases the banks kept moving illicit funds even after U.S. officials warned them they’d face criminal prosecutions if they didn’t stop doing business with mobsters, fraudsters or corrupt regimes.
JPMorgan, the largest bank based in the United States, moved money for people and companies tied to the massive looting of public funds in Malaysia, Venezuela and Ukraine, the leaked documents reveal.

Rukaiyatu Abubakar is one of four current wives of Atiku Abubakar, vice president of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007. In 2006, Nigerian anti-corruption investigators accused Atiku Abubakar of fraudulently diverting $125 million of state revenue to private interests. U.S. prosecutors also alleged that a Louisiana congressman tried to bribe Atiku Abubakar to help a Nigerian technology company. Atiku Abubakar has never been tried in court and denies wrongdoing. Rukaiyatu Abubakar has not been accused of wrongdoing.
On March 5, 2012, Rukaiyatu Abubakar’s Guernsey Trust Company Nigeria sent more than $1 million to a company in the United Arab Emirates, Tanjay Real Estate Brokers. (GTCN exists to “manage a blind trust” for Atiku Abubkar’s benefit, according to documents received by the U.S. Senate.) Habib Bank Limited in New York filed a suspicious activity report, citing Atiku Abubakar’s history of alleged corruption, after its Dubai office received the payment. The bank’s Dubai branch explained to the office in New York that the payment was to buy an apartment and that the Dubai branch was “unaware of any existing relationship or affiliation between Tanjay and the Abubakar family.”
Habib Bank reported the transactions because they “crossed multiple high-risk jurisdictions” and because “public sources revealed that there have been numerous investigations of Mr. Abubakar … linking him to corruption allegations.”
SARs reflect the concerns of compliance officers and are not necessarily indicative of criminal conduct or other wrongdoing. The Abubakars didn’t respond to an ICIJ request for comment sent to Atiku Abubakar’s spokesman.

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