inDriver engages Lagos state authorities on compliance

In May 2022, the Lagos state government instructed its residents to be wary of inDriver, Rida and other unlicensed e-hailing cab operators within the state citing security risks.

“Residents patronising inDriver, Rida and other unlicensed operators should be wary as they are yet to be registered and licensed by the Lagos State Government,” Lagos Commissioner for Transportation, Frederic Oladeinde said. In a statement shared with Benjamindada.com on July 21, inDriver disclosed that it is engaging with local authorities to ensure compliance with local regulatory requirements.

“Our goal in Lagos is to maintain the safety, accessibility and convenience of the services we offer so that they continue to benefit the users and contribute to combating social injustices,” Evgeny Kalinin, inDriver’s Business Development Manager Africa, said. “As a business operating in over 645 cities in 45 countries around the world, we are very sensitive to any local regulation in the ride-hailing sector pertaining to each market.”

However, inDriver declined to provide additional comments about its deliberations with the Lagos authorities. Previously, a Lagos transport official told Rest of World that “inDriver’s lack of a physical presence in Nigeria would be a factor in deciding whether the company would be able to get a license to operate.” Although inDriver launched in Lagos in August 2019, the company operates remotely without a physical office, except for its Cape Town office which moderates the activities in Nigeria.

The Lagos state’s guidelines for e-hailing business operations (issued in August 2020) mandated operators with less than 1,000 drivers to pay a ₦10 million licencing fee, while those with more than 1,000 drivers are meant to pay ₦25 million. However, after a meeting with operators in the same year, the state government reduced the fee by 20%.

Lagos is the company’s first Nigerian operational base, but inDriver operates in four other African countries—Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Tanzania. During its Ugandan launch in July 2019, inDriver’s Chief Marketing Officer Egor Fedorov said that “Africa is going to be a big market for us because there’s a lot of cities and high population [areas] that still don’t have access to ride-hail applications”.

“inDriver is now engaged in an open dialogue with local authorities in order to comply with local regulations in the sector. Developing business in Lagos will enable the company to further grow its operations in the country, creating more work opportunities for local drivers and expanding the service offering.” the California-based company revealed.

Aside from ride-hailing, inDriver intends to woo the local authorities with its social educational project—BeginIT. The project is aimed at identifying and offering future career guidance to capable children from orphanages, shelters, and rural schools in the area of new technologies.

In February 2021, the project announced its first Nigerian partnership with Sparkle Foundation, in March, BeginIT announced that seven agricultural schools in Nigeria and Tanzania have joined the programme. “Participating schools are provided with financial assistance for procuring technical equipment as well as additional training required to successfully implement programming courses,” inDriver stated.

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