Ibile Holding MD Begins Forceful Takeover Of LagRide From Partners, Appeals Made To Sanwo-Olu - TM NEWS ONLINE


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Ibile Holding MD Begins Forceful Takeover Of LagRide From Partners, Appeals Made To Sanwo-Olu

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 Ibile Holding MD Begins Forceful Takeover Of LagRide From Partners, Appeals Made To Sanwo-Olu


Mr, Tobi Lawal, the new Managing Director of ibile Holding Company,  on Monday in a Gestapo manner using Policemen attached to the Lagos State Rapid Response Squad RRS forcefully took over about 21 numbers of LagRide vehicles from investors (partners) in the Ajah area of Lagos, who legally leased them from the lagos state government on a four year repayment plan.

Reporting the matter to pressmen, Com. Idris Shonuga, National President, Professional E-Hailing Drivers and Private Owners Association, PEDPA, in whose premises the vehicles were forcefully taken, said he was invited to the Ibile office by Mr. Lawal on that Monday, purportedly to discuss the operations of the business, but was fiercely threatened by the Managing Director to return all the vehicles acquired through him by investors for the purpose of handing them over to drivers who will assume ownership of the vehicles which the investors had already invested over a N1million each.

In his reaction to the reason behind the forceful takeover, Mr.Tobi Lawal, said his mission as the MD is to correct some of the anomalies he discovered with the LagRide Operations, especially the involvement of  partners, which according to him is alien to the original plan of the Government.

Mr. Lawa said, "the original idea for the creation of the LagRide scheme is to empower unemployed young graduates expected to acquire the vehicles for commercial transportation purpose, but the plan was abrogated with the introduction of the partners with the connivance of some Ibile Holding staff by fleet management companies, even when the design of the scheme did not factor in the use of fleet management companies.

"Whatever agreement that is existing hitherto between Ibile Holding Company in respect to the use of partners and investors is not binding as long as it is not signed by either the Managing Director or the Company Secretary who are the authorising authorities. I have decided to retrieve those vehicles for handover to drivers." He added.

Com. Shonuga reacting to the assertions of the MD. said, “The creation of the LagRide came to correct some of the anomalies experienced by Uber and Bolt drivers who were heavily manipulated by the foreign companies operating them without subjection to our labour regulations, leading to so many agitations by the drivers who wanted better operating deal, prompting the listening government of Sanwo-Olu to crystalize the scheme.

"However when drivers who were supposed to be the original beneficiaries of the scheme could not come up with 5% of N1.8million  amounting to N90 thousand demanded by Polaris Bank as equity payment for the credit facilities to aid Drivers in accessing the ride, but at the end only 50 Drivers were able to afford it, so we had to bring in investors who are referred to as partners to make the payments for the acquisition of the vehicles and afterwards sub-let to drivers, making the scheme to eventually take off after 6-months of calls to Drivers without responses.

“By the introduction of the investor arrangement, the LagRide scheme therefore involves three parties, including; the drivers, the investors and the App management company. This arrangement is obtainable as the operational standard since the take-off of the scheme, while the state government is benefitting from the regular tax payments from the daily operations of the vehicles.” Shonuga said.

Adding that, “I'm therefore dismayed and shocked to hear the Managing Director asking me to order all the investors to return the vehicles to Ibile Holdings for him to re-allot them to drivers directly and for him to eliminate the investor group from the arrangement. I however made him see the impossibility of that action and the massive legal actions that it will throw up.

"Only a fraction of the drivers came up with the equity payment even when it was reduced to N700 thousand with equity payment of 20% yet very many of them could not afford it and for 6 months we could barely have 300 drivers who could come up with the equivalent N140 thousand equity payment.

"It was the investors who came to the rescue, bringing in the neccesary equity for the vehicles to be acquired from the government with many steps taken by our Association to fine tune the process before the scheme took-off and have being operating seamlessly since then, untill this looming policy summersault introduced by Mr. Lawal which may portend the end of the scheme.

Comrade Shonuga further said, all the partners have officially signed letters that engages them as partners who brought the needed equity contributions to acquire the vehicles before passing them over to drivers to ride and earn daily income.

"Each of the drivers earn four times higher than the partners on the average. Equally before any of the drivers are engaged they are interviewed by Ibile and certified, including the medical tests needed to certify the medical fitness of the drivers are done by the company.

"The use of fleet Management has nothing to do with Ibile Holding Company, because its role is purely to the investors to manage their vehicles, ensuring their vehicles are well maintained, drivers are made to adhere to rules of engagement and of course ensuring that adequate returns on investment is guaranteed which my company, IOS Fleet Management Company offers to these partners."

He averred that he has never in any private discussion or in any publication criticised the government's LagRide project, rather he has being advocating support for the programme since it was designed to rescue E-Hailing Drivers whom he represents from the Shylock grip of Uber and Bolt companies.

Some of the Partners spoken to at a conference held to delibrate on the development, expressed their anger, describing the action of the new MD as an abuse of power, a ploy to forcefully take over the Vehicles for reallocation to his cronies and political apologists, they also showed Journalists the allocation documents of the units of Vehicles handed over to each respective partner duly signed by management members of the Ibile Holding Company,.

The partners asked the new MD to let go of their Vehicles ceased from the premises of IOS, asking him to wait for the next phase of fleets expected in the scheme for him to share as he pleases, stressing that they will await the reaction of the government before embarking on the next line of action.

As at the time of going to Press, a voice note from a factional member of one the E-Hailing Driver's Association was heard coercing Drivers to return LagRide vehicles they are driving, legally owned by partners through allocation to the Ibile Holding Company in flagrant disregard of the partners, signifying a premeditated motive to use disgruntled factional members, Drivers and other individuals to truncate the labour exerted to get the LagRide scheme running smoothly till date.

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