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Sanwo-Olu activates tech-driven ‘Lagos Ride’ Taxi Scheme with 1,000 new cars

Governor Babjide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State Commissions 'Lagos Ride' Public Transport Initiative Photo Collage: Apcnewsonline

*Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State discloses the initiative is part of the state government’s multimodal transportation blueprint of the T.H.E.M.E.S development agenda to optimise technology  for safety and offer alternative for comfort across the Lagos metropolis

*Says automobile assembly plant in Lagos expected to commence operations by September

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As part of the current administration’s multimodal transportation blueprint of the T.H.E.M.E.S development agenda, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has launched a safe, comfortable and modernised taxi scheme with the rollout of the first batch of 1,000 brand-new GAC-branded automobiles.

ConsumerConnect reports Governor Sanwo-Olu Wednesday, March 23, 2022, commissioned the Lagos State Government’s transportation scheme codenamed ‘LAGOS RIDE’, at a well-attended ceremony held at the State House, at Alausa-Ikeja, in Lagos.

A fleet of ‘Lagos Ride’ vehicles at the occasion

Gboyega Akosile, Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Governor, in a statement disclosed the Lagos State Government’s (LASG) ride hailing taxi initiative being operated on a lease-to-own basis, is a component of the administration’s multimodal transportation blueprint being executed under the Traffic Management and Transportation pillar of the development agenda of the Sanwo-Olu administration.

The state government also noted the initiative is a partnership between Lagos State-owned IBILE Holding Limited and CIG Motors Company Limited, with the objective to provide clean and reliable means of taxis movement across the metropolis at affordable cost, using brand-new vehicles.

“Operators are required to pay about N1.9 million down payment, of which the sum covers the 20 percent equity of cost of vehicle, registration and insurance.

“Each car being used in the scheme comes with technology-enabled security features that monitor every journey undertaken,” Akosile stated.

Sanwo-Olu, while launching the scheme, said that Lagos State had moved another step forward in its drive to develop an efficient transportation model in tune with modernity and comfort.

The Governor of Lagos State further stated that the aim was not to run existing hailing ride operators out of the business, but to offer safer alternative and clear the roads of rickety cars being used for taxi business.

He explained the transportation initiative would provide opportunities to the operators to become owners of the vehicles within three to four years period.

“The need to provide better, dignifying and more rewarding means of transportation and livelihood for unemployed and underemployed population gave birth to the new ‘Lagos State Taxi Scheme’, which will be operated on a lease-to-own basis.

“Under this arrangement, a beneficiary will be provided a brand-new car which will become the driver’s property after completion of the payment of the vehicle’s subsidised cost,” Sanwo-Olu noted.

He also stated: “This taxi scheme will complement the various bus services which are making significant impact in the lives of our people; the water transport service, which is recording unprecedented patronage, as well as the Blue and Red Line Rail services which are on course to commence commercial operations between the last quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2023.”

In order to improve riders’ and passengers’ security on the scheme, Sanwo-Olu said a full security gadget, including a 360 dashboard camera that will give 24-hour audio-visual feeds to the control centre, had been pre-installed on each car deployed for the scheme.

According to him, each car came with a physical panic button that could be used by anyone on board in case of assault or emergency.

The Governor further disclosed that the panic button is also on the mobile application, and it is connected to the Control and Command Centre.

Sanwo-Olu disclosed that the automobile assembly plant being set up in Lagos – another component of the partnership between CIG Motors’ and the State Government – stood at 60 percent completion, with anticipated launch and start of operations expected September 2022.

The governor said: “What we are witnessing today (Wednesday) is that, Lagos is moving away from the era of rickety Kabu Kabu to brand-new, comfortable and safe transport system. The multiplier effect of this singular initiative on job creation, youth employment and economic growth and development in the State cannot be overstated.”

Lagos Ride is ‘another milestone achievement,’ says Transportation Commissioner

Dr. Frederic Oladehinde, Lagos State Honourable Commissioner for Transportation, described the scheme as “another milestone achievement” by the State Government.

The Commissioner noted that the public transport initiative has joined an array of other innovative solutions introduced in the transport sector, which were targeted at redefining public transportation.

Oladeinde also said in order to make the rides affordable, the technology on which the scheme is operated had made ride-sharing possible for passengers, who would agree to share ride and share transit costs.

Speaking on the occasion, Mrs. Diana Chang, Chairman of CIG Motors in Nigeria, said the roadmap for the urbanisation of the transportation system in Lagos started November 2019, when the Governor and members of his cabinet visited the Republic of China for bilateral partnership.

The launch, Mrs. Chang said, is the glorious end of the partnership sealed with Chinese investors.

The Chairman of CIG Motors also stated: “We are using this partnership to promote a Greater Lagos where opportunities abound for citizens of the State, while creating a win-win model for all stakeholders.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Abiodun Amokomowo, Managing Director of IBILE Holding, said over 5,700 drivers had downloaded the driver’s mobile app as of last Tuesday, March 22 out of which 1,786 drivers had submitted applications.

Registration and enrolment fee has been accepted from 359 drivers, while others were awaiting screening, Amokomowo said.

The IBILE Holding Managing Director said: “As part of the process each operator will go through for the safety and security of life and effective operations of the scheme, we will conduct full verification of applicants’ Lagos State Drivers’ Institute (LASDRI) ID cards, medical history, background check and verification of NIN and Lagos resident registration numbers.”

The launch of the taxi scheme was received with a warm embrace by ride hailing drivers, who described the initiative as “unique, better alternative”, said the state government.

Sam Mfuk, who is the first successful driver to get onboard of the scheme, said: “When we first heard about Lagos Ride, we were sceptical. But, when we attended the stakeholders’ meetings, we changed our minds.

“Lagos Ride has become the answer to our prayers in ride hailing sector.

The details and features they shared with us were clearly thought out and our input was well included in the final model.”

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