Uber faces backlash in Lagos as government demands real-time data sharing

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March 22, 2024
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2 min read
ride-hailing
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Brooks Entwistle; Chief Business Officer, Uber

The news: 

  • The Lagos State Government has accused Uber of defaulting on a 2020 data-sharing agreement with ride-hailing companies in the city. 
  • Per the agreement, the state government required the e-sharing platform to share real-time access to user trips and location data through backend API integration. 
  • While Bolt, another ride-sharing platform, has complied with the terms, Uber, which says it already shares the required data daily with the Lagos government, is pushing back on the real-time data request.

Oluwaseun Osiyemi, the Lagos State Honourable Commissioner of Transportation, assured that “Immediate corrective action is imperative to rectify Uber’s non-compliance with the Data Sharing Agreement and API integration of the state.”

According to reports, Lagos authorities seized cars that Uber used for ride-hailing services and were financed by Moove.

Moove vehicles are easy targets because they have distinct looks, and the authorities know they all operate on the Uber platform.

The government maintains that the request for backend integration is required to ensure a safe and well-regulated transport system that serves all residents, including identifying drivers and riders and protecting all users in an emergency. 

Uber insists that it has fulfilled all regulatory obligations to the state, including an annual licence fee of ₦25 million, a per-trip road improvement levy of ₦20, and data-sharing requirements.

The data-sharing policy is not unique to Lagos State. In 2016, Uber revealed sharing data on over 11.6 million users and 600,000 drivers with global regulators.

A spokesperson for Uber reaffirmed the company's commitment to regulatory compliance in all markets, including Nigeria. 

In 2020, when the state reviewed the ride-hailing regulation, the former Lagos Transport Commissioner, Frederic Oladeinde, reportedly said, "We are not asking the e-hailing companies to release detailed data. All we are asking from them is data for trip movement so that we can calculate the right charge and levy due to the government. This data is to be supplied every week."  

The Amalgamated Union of App-based Transporters of Nigeria's Lagos State chapter advised drivers on the company's platform to temporarily cease using the Uber app until the problem is fixed in a statement.

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Uber has yet to comply with the multiple letters the Lagos government sent, necessitating the decision to detain Uber app users.

However, Uber claims to be working closely with the government to find a long-term solution for API integration. 

In Abuja, the country’s capital, Uber encountered some regulatory issues regarding licencing. The mobility company, however, assured that it had submitted the required documents to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).

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