BD Insider: Rida and inDriver are not licensed to operate in Lagos

BD Insider, #116 covers Lagos state's denouncement of inDriver and Rida as “unlicensed” operators, Starlink's approval by Nigeria and Mozambique.

BD Insider: Rida and inDriver are not licensed to operate in Lagos
Lagos state officials

For the 116th episode of BD Insider, we cover:

  • Lagos State's denouncement of inDriver and Rida as “unlicensed” operators
  • Starlink's approval by Nigeria and Mozambique, and
  • Nigeria's plan to protect IPs

inDriver and Rida are “unlicensed” to operate in Lagos

The Lagos state government has instructed Lagos residents to "be wary of unlicensed e-hailing cab operators within the State as they pose security threats to the safety of lives and property.”

A statement by the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde specifically mentioned inDriver and Rida as unlicensed operators that the residents should be wary of. Rest of World (RoW) reported that prior to the public warning, transportation officials have been clamping down on inDriver for several months, issuing fines to drivers who were caught working for the platform.

There are only eight licenced e-hailing cab operators in Lagos. "Lagos Ride, Uber, Bolt, Let Me Run, Global Taxi, Zoom Run, Treepz (Plenty Waka), and Shuttlers are the only lawful operators recognised by the State Government and licensed to operate in Lagos", Oladeinde stated.

Ride-hailing companies in Nigeria, other than Uber and Bolt
Aside from Bolt and Uber, there are several other ride-hailing companies across Nigeria that offer convenient rides and serve as alternatives to the less-than-efficient public transport system.

Of these licenced operators, we know of—and have only reported on—five of them.

In 2019, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) announced InDriver’s launch in Lagos. However, inDriver is said to be operating remotely without a physical office, except for its Cape Town office which moderates the activities in Nigeria. A transport official in Lagos 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."

Meanwhile, it's unclear when Rida launched in Lagos. However, in 2020, the mobility company commenced its operations in Abuja. Both companies run the negotiation pricing model— allowing passengers and drivers to agree on a fare per trip.

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Starlink, the satellite internet service launched by SpaceX, has been approved in Nigeria and Mozambique, Elon Musk tweeted on Friday. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) confirmed to Nairametrics that it has licensed Starlink.

“The company received two licenses, which include the International Gateway license and Internet Service Provider (ISP) license, and will be trading as Starlink Internet Services Nigeria Ltd,” the NCC said. Prior to Elon’s tweet, Representatives of Starlink had met with NCC last year to discuss license requirements.

The International Gateway license has a 10-year tenure while the ISP license is to last for five years. Both licenses take effect from May 2022 and may be renewed after the expiration.

With high speeds and latency as low as 20 minutes in most locations, Starlink enables video calls, online gaming, streaming, and other high data rate activities that historically have not been possible with satellite internet.

Starlink requires low infrastructure in providing internet accessibility. This makes it economically viable for underserved areas. By deploying satellites closer to the earth than most telcos do (low latency), Starlink transmits signals faster to ground terminals, increasing internet speeds to as much as 150mbps. Currently, SpaceX has launched about 1,443 Starlink satellites to orbit.

Elon Musk’s Starlink presence in Africa and the Telco Dilemma
SpaceX revealed plans this year to introduce Starlink’s technology in Nigeria. This comes prior to the company’s expansion across South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt, and many other African countries in 2022.

However, the success of Starlink would be determined by several factors such as affordability, regulation, and adoption. Starlink is a Telecom Satellite and would fall under the Africa Telecommunication Union (ATU).

Since Elon’s tweet, there have been mixed reactions regarding the affordability of the services. Starlink is at $110 (~₦60,500) for preorder — also its monthly price — and $599 (~₦330,000) for a full kit, including a terminal, mounting tripod, and Wi-Fi router, Starlink’s price is expensive for the average Nigerian — and Mozambique user. Its premium service costs about $2,500 (~₦1.375 million) for the full kit and $500 (~₦275,000) monthly.

Nigeria to launch an intellectual marketplace for creators

The Nigerian government has signed a 3-year exclusive IPR (intellectual property rights) agreement with Developing Africa Group to launch a nationwide wallet that will enable the international commercialization of all IP forms being created and registered within the country, both locally and internationally.

In this context, the IPR exclusivity agreement consists of the government granting Developing Africa Group—a regional software development company—to build the country's official platform for its people to be able to upload any form of IP rights and trade, sell or exchange them abroad while collecting the royalties and proceeds of these operations on their wallets.

IP forms reached by the above-mentioned agreement include trademarks, patents, and all forms of copyrights such as songs, lyrics, videos, shows, lectures, podcasts, and all forms of streamable content.

The Developing Africa Group has chosen Koibanx, with the Government's approval, as the tokenization and payments engine to be utilized in the country and the Algorand Blockchain as the protocol to build on.

It is important to note that even though the CBN directed all banks and fintechs to desist from transacting in and with entities dealing in cryptocurrency, it does not imply that other blockchain-powered services and products are also prohibited.

Koibanx, the leading Latin American asset tokenization, and Blockchain financial infrastructure company will be in charge of implementing the wallet, the token booth for the IP being sold, and a stable token (equivalent to the Nigerian Naira) to pay the creators in addition to the overall technical integration of the different vendors in play, which include one of the top card issuing companies worldwide, a content streaming platform and top firms both legal and data mining, they will all be announced before the launch date.

The intellectual property rights market is worth $8.2 billion, globally. It is set to reach $16.1 billion by 2026 with the advent of cloud-based solutions. Nigeria’s deal with DAG is one such cloud-based IP solution.

💸 Tech startup deals

African startups raised over $32.3 million between May 23 and May 29, 2022. Unlike previous weeks in Q1, 2022, funding has slowed down. Namibia's JABU raised the highest amount from the data we curated.

Find out more in the image below.

🤓 Noteworthy

Here are some of the interesting stories that we’ve come across in the past week:

💼 Job Opportunities

Here are opportunities in Product & Design, Data & Engineering, Admin & Growth.

Product & Design:

  • Mastercard — Product Architect (Kenya)
  • Renmoney — Digital Product Manager (Nigeria)
  • Branch — Head of Product (Nigeria & Kenya)

Data & Engineering:

Admin & Growth:

🗓️ Events

  • Join Benjamin Dada and Miss Techy to discover how MacBook can benefit your business.
    Where: iStore Ikeja Mall, Lagos. Direction
    When: 2:00 PM (WAT) on June 4, 2022
    How: Register to attend on the iStore site
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