Early Wednesday morning in Lagos, bike riders working with Oride, Max.ng and Gokada encountered some trouble. Lagos Agberos (informal transport union workers) demanded that the riders obtain a N100 ticket for N500 before they would be allowed to continue on their journey.
The incident which took place at Ojuelegba resulted in trips being cancelled by the riders due to the exorbitant ticket charges which the bike riders would have to cover from their pockets.
According to reactions on Twitter, the menace is said to have started last week with rides being cancelled as well. And since the video in question surfaced showing the full-blown confrontations this morning, people have been sharing stories of their unpleasant encounters with agberos while commuting, or simply reacting:
Twitter user, gossyomega also shared pictures of unknown men in ‘taskforce’ uniforms harassing bike riders with logistics companies on their way to make deliveries.
At the moment, riders working with the ride-hailing companies are allegedly threatening a temporary boycott of the agberos. However, this may not be sustainable because of the vast network and control of the transport union within the state.
What this means is that Oride, Gokada, Max.ng and other bike-hailing platforms have serious operational problems on their hands. They will have to figure out a way to deal with the problem this poses to their bike riders and passengers in order to keep the constant patronage of their users.
If the standoff is allowed to escalate, it may cause transport unions in other states to follow suit with demands of exorbitant ticket fees as these companies begin their expansion within the country.
Bike-hailing companies already pay taxes to the Lagos Government and so, it remains to be seen if the government will intervene with a lasting solution or if the companies will have to come to a compromise with the transportation unions under which the agberos operate.
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