The Lagos State Government has launched a new taxi scheme with 1,000 brand-new GAC-branded cars.
The scheme, codenamed ‘Lag Ride’, was launched at a ceremony held at the State House in Alausa on Wednesday.
According to a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Lagos Government, Gboyega Akosile, the ride-hailing taxi initiative, which is being operated on a lease-to-own basis, is a component of the state government’s multimodal transportation blueprint being executed under the Traffic Management and Transportation pillar of the THEMES agenda of the Sanwo-Olu administration.
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 per cent 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.
Sanwo-Olu, while launching the scheme, said the state had moved another step forward in its drive to develop an efficient transportation model in tune with modernity and comfort.
The governor said the aim was not to run existing hailing ride operators out of the business, but to offer a safer alternative and clear the roads of rickety cars being used for taxi business.
The scheme, according to him, will provide opportunities to the operators to become owners of the vehicles within a three to four year 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.
“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,” Sanwo-Olu said.
To improve riders’ and passengers’ security, 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.
He added that each car came with a physical panic button that could be used by anyone on board in case of assault or emergency.
The panic button, the Governor said, is also on the mobile application and 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 per cent completion, with the launch of its operations expected in September.
“What we are witnessing today is that Lagos is moving away from the era of rickety ‘Kabu Kabu‘ to a 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,” he said.
Commissioners for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladehinde, described the scheme as “another milestone achievement” by the State Government, noting that the initiative had joined an array of other innovative solutions initiated in the transport sector, which were targeted at redefining public transportation.
To make the rides affordable, the Commissioner said the technology on which the scheme is operated had made ride-sharing possible for passengers, who would agree to share rides and share transit costs.
Chairman of CIG Motors in Nigeria, Mrs Diana Chang, said the roadmap for the urbanisation of the transportation system in Lagos started in November 2019 when the Governor and members of his cabinet visited the Republic of China for bilateral partnership.
The launch, she said, is the glorious end of the partnership sealed with Chinese investors.
“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,” she said.
Also speaking at the event, the Managing Director of IBILE Holding, Mr. Abiodun Amokomowo, said over 5,700 drivers had downloaded the driver’s mobile apps as at last Tuesday, out of which 1,786 drivers submitted applications.
Amokomowo added that registration and enrolment fees have been accepted from 359 drivers, while others are awaiting screening.
As part of the process, each operator is expected to undergo full verification which will include their Lagos State Drivers’ Institute (LASDRI) ID cards, medical history, verification of NIN and Lagos resident registration numbers and other background checks to ensure the safety of passengers.
“The launch of the taxi scheme was received with a warm embrace by ride hailing drivers, who described the initiative as a “unique, better alternative”, the IBILE Holding boss added.
Sam Mfuk, who is the first successful driver to get on board 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”.
SANWO-OLU URGES RESIDENTS TO STAY CALM OVER CASH SCARCITY
The Lagos State Government has observed the tension caused by the slow release of cash through Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and within banking halls.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu today joined a delegation that met with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja to deliberate on measures to remove the hardship caused by the scarcity of the new currency.
In a statement signed by the Hon. Commissioner for information, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, Mr. Sanwo-Olu urges residents to remain calm as the government is doing everything possible to normalise the situation. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has promised to put measures in place to ensure residents have access to currency notes released to banks.
Buhari inaugurates new MOFI Board
President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) to grow its Assets Under Management from the current value of N18 trillion to at least N100 trillion in the next 10 years.
The president gave the charge at the launch of the new MOFI and inauguration of the Governing Council and Board of Directors of the body shortly before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council meeting.
The president also tasked the new board to “be the clearing house for the management of Federal Government’s investments and assets in line with global best practices with a view to ensuring that these investments are delivering superior risk-adjusted returns to the government.”
He also called on the new MOFI to work with other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to create a consolidated national assets register with a view to converting them into cash-flow-generating entities.
This, he said, would support the government’s revenue drive.
Buhari urged members of the board to work with the government with a view to using government-owned investments and assets to support the government in delivering on its social and economic obligations to the citizenry.
He, therefore, directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed to commence the process of amending the MOFI Act and other legislations to further institutionalize this reform.
According to him, the amendments when carried out, would ensure that MOFI was restructured and repositioned to become a trusted custodian and manager of Federal Government’s investments and assets.
Buhari said the event was significant as the restructured MOFI would help identify “what we own” and how to get the best out of them.
According to the president, the MOFI Act of 1959, now Cap. 229, Laws of the Federation, 2004, explicitly empowers MOFI to enter into commercial transactions of any description on behalf of the Federal Government in its own name.
He said that MOFI was used as a Special Purpose Vehicle across different sectors to invest in commercial entities over the last 64 years, adding that MOFI was created even before Nigeria’s independence.
In her remarks, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning thanked Buhari for his support and approvals that had made the restructuring and repositioning of MOFI possible.
According to the minister, the council members and board will ensure that the new MOFI delivers on its mandates.
The governing council is chaired by the President, with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed, as Vice Chair.
It’s members include: The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; Aviation, Hadi Sirika; Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo and Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo.
Others are: Governor of the Central Bank, Dr Godwin Emefiele and three experts appointed by the President, namely: Prof. Muhammad Sagagi, Dr Ayo Teriba and Prof. Ken Ife.
The board members include: Former Finance Minister, Shamsudeen Usman as Chairman, Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries of Finance and Petroleum Resources and acting Accountant-General of the Federation.
Others are; Olawale Edun, Fatima Mede, Ike Chioke, Muhammad Nda, Alheri Nyako and an executive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are also members of the board
Members of the Executive Management Team are: Dr Armstrong Takang, Managing Director, Eric solo, Executive Director, Chief Portfolio Officer, Sani Yakubu Chief Investment Officer and Oluwakemi Owonubi, Chief Risk Officer.
Polls: NBC warns broadcasters against compromising national unity
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has cautioned all broadcasters against compromising national unity while covering forthcoming general election.
The Director-General of NBC, Malam Balarabe Ilelah issued the warning in a statement, on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said: ”The National Broadcasting Commission wish to again, remind all broadcasters covering the forthcoming general elections to take note of the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, and other relevant regulations guiding the broadcast of elections in Nigeria.
”The commission has observed, with deep concerns, how ethics and ethos have been thrown to the winds by politicians using broadcast media platforms.
”This is against the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, which provides that in using materials for news and current affairs programmes, the broadcaster shall avoid hate speech, inflammatory, derogatory and divisive remarks or allusions.
”The commission notes that some station now glamorise these situations on their platforms. The NBC reiterates that such stations shall pay for their professional misdemeanor.”
Ilelah said for the avoidance of doubt, broadcasters were advised to note the sections of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code which provides that the broadcaster shall promote human dignity.
He added: “Therefore, hate speech is prohibited. Section 3.11.1 (a) states that all broadcasters should ensure that language or a scene likely to encourage or incite to crime, or lead to disorder, is not broadcast.
“Also, section 3.11.1 (b) advice broadcaster to ensure that no programme contains anything which amounts to subversion of constituted authority or compromises the unity or corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign state.
“Similarly, section 5.4.1 (f) prohibit broadcasters from transmitting divisive materials that may threaten or compromise the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state.”
Ilelah said that section 5.3.3 (g) urged broadcasters to ensure that a political broadcast was clearly identified as such, and not presented in a manner that would mislead the audience to believe that the programme was of any other type.
“Also, section 5.3.3 (j) enjoin broadcasters to ensure that the broadcast of a partisan political campaign, jingle, announcement and any form of partisan political party identification or symbol ends not later than 24 hours before polling day.
“The NBC ACT CAP N11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, also prescribes, in the Third Schedule 12(6) that “A Licensee shall be responsible for the content of the Station’s Broadcast.
”The commission enjoins all broadcasters to desist from using or allowing their platforms and facilities to be used by politicians, their supporters and or sympathisers, for the broadcast of contents that may lead to the breakdown of law and order,” Ilelah
He said that broadcasters were therefore expected to perform the role of peace agents by adhering to the principles of responsibility, accuracy and neutrality.
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