Following the announcement that e-hailing startup, Ekocab had partnered with the Lagos State government to launch a car-hailing service, EkoCab CEO, Segun Cole has come out to shed light on his involvement with the government.
Addressing the partnership deal with the government, cole clarified in a series of tweets that the company wasn’t owned by the government or any powerful individual in the government.
However, he affirmed that he did a bit of lobbying with the regulators, an act which, as he stated, isn’t illegal.
Recall that we reported a few weeks ago that the Lagos state government was cracking down on Uber and other ride-hailing startups in the state. The State claimed that the drivers on the ride-hailing platform didn’t have the required accreditations like the hackney permit to do business in the state.
However, Cole has come forward with his version of the story which chronicles the woes of ride-hailing startups in the state. Cole revealed that the refusal of the be categorized as a transport operator made the government look for other ways to bring them under the state’s tax structure.
Cole disclosed that he was one of the policy consultants that advised the government on regulating the industry
I have been a policy consultant on New Mobility to State Governments. Advising them on how to better Regulate the Industry and proffering solutions.Segun Cole, CEO of Ekocab
e-hailing platform for yellow taxi
Due to the rising growth and expansion of ride-hailing startups in the state, the other players like the yellow taxi complained about their diminishing income.
According to Cole, the consultants advised the government to tell other players in the transport sector to develop their own tech. they also told the regulators to draft guidelines regulating all digital apps.
However, developing an app could be pretty expensive. Cole revealed that was why he offered to build the app and onboard players who couldn’t afford to develop their own app.
Ekocab has trained 100 drivers
Apart from creating an app, Ekocab trained about 100 drivers who had vehicles that met Ekocab standard (Safety, comfort, AC etc). The startup also carried our Culture Re-orientation for those drivers with a view of making them more professional.
However, more than 80% of yellow cabs in the state are without AC. This raises the questions on Ekocab model of onboarding Lagos yellow cabs as most of the cabs don’t meet their stated requirements.