Taxi drivers who use digital platforms to connect with their customers will soon be required to pay tax.
The drivers, according to new proposed regulations, will also have to be licensed by the National Transport Authority (NTSA) besides having tax compliance certificates.
The certificates will entail further disclosures about the industry other than what both the drivers and owners of the taxi-hailing apps are currently required to make.
Locally, the industry is dominated by cab-hailing services Uber, Bolt and Little.
The regulations by NTSA, which are currently in the public participation phase, will also cap the maximum commission that the owners of the cab-hailing platforms can make at 15 per cent. Some of the apps currently charge a commission of 15 per cent on the taxi fare that a commuter pays per trip, which has in the past seen drivers go on strike to push for a downward review.
The NTSA (Operation of Digital Hailing Operators) Regulations, 2019 will also require all cab-hailing firms to have a physical presence in the country. The companies will also be registered by NTSA as digital hailing services. They are currently registered as transport companies.
The proposed laws also limit cabs that have been licensed as digital taxis from operating as their traditional counterparts.
The digital cabs will have identifying markers akin to the yellow airport taxis.
“It shall be a condition of their licence that digital hailing service drivers are prohibited from picking up passengers at cabstands, soliciting rides, and responding to street-hails,” read the regulations in part.
A driver will also be restricted from working for more than eight consecutive hours in a twenty-four hour period.
Uber said it is open to regulation but called for consultation between the government and sector players.