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Lagos Govt Launches Taxi Service With 1,000 New Cars

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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu cuts the tape, flanked by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat (right), Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Federic Oladeinde (left) and others during the formal launch of 1000 Cars for Lagos Ride Taxi Scheme, at the Sports Ground, Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Wednesday, 23 March 2022
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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”.

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Terrorists Release Four More Abuja-Kaduna Train Attack Victims 

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Terrorists who attacked  an AK9 Train in Kaduna state on March 28 have released four more hostages in their custody.

Among the released hostages include an  90-year-old woman, Hajiya Halimatu Atta and and her 53-year-old daughter, Adama Aliyu.

A member of the negotiating team,  Tukur Mamu told Channels Television that the victims were released on Friday after spending over four months in captivity.

Meanwhile, Mamu  has drawn the attention of the federal government and the Christian Association of Nigeria about  plan by the terrorists to marry off the  youngest victim, 21-year-old Azurfa Lois John any moment from now, just as they did in the case of Leah Sharibu in Yobe state some years ago.

According to Mamu, one of the top commanders of the terrorists is said to be in love with Ms John.

He however pled with the Federal Government and other stakeholders  to intensify efforts towards the release of the 23 victims still with the terrorists whose health  conditions, he said, is pathetic and require urgent medical attention.

Mamu also called on CAN not to politicize the issue or reduce it to mere press releases, but to work closely with relevant authorities to engage the abductors on the case of Ms John before it is late.

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NBC Revokes Silverbird, AIT, Raypower, Rhythm FM, Others’ Licences

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The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has revoked the broadcast licences of Silverbird TV, AIT, Raypower FM, and Rhythm FM amongst others over failure to renew their broadcast licences amounting to N2.66 billion.

A statement by NBC on Friday noted that the move followed the publication of a list of stations yet to renew their licences.

According to the Commission, a two-week waiver was given to them in May to do so after which they risked the revocation of their broadcast licences.

But three months after the publication, NBC said, “some licensees are yet to pay their outstanding debts, in contravention of the National Broadcasting Commission Act CAP N11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, particularly section 10(a) of the third schedule of the Act.

“Therefore, after due consideration, NBC hereby announces the revocation of the licenses of the…stations and gives them 24 hours to shut down their operations.

Our offices nationwide are hereby directed to collaborate with security agencies to ensure immediate compliance.”

The broadcast regulator said the continued operation of the “debtor stations is illegal and constitutes a threat to national security”.

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OKADA: LAGOS GOVT EXTENDS BAN TO 4 MORE LGAS, 5 LCDAS FROM SEPT 1

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…7,500 Commercial Motorcycles Impounded, Crushed Since June 1

…‘Enforcement’ll Be Total, Livelihood Support For Willing Riders’ – Govt

Lagos State Government, on Thursday, extended a ban on the activities of commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, to four more Local Government Areas (LGAs) and six Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).

Effective from September 1, 2022, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu directed enforcement teams to fully implement the proscription order and bust erring riders across the councils listed in the Okada ban.

The additional places are Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Somolu and Mushin Local Government Areas. The Development Area Councils are Ikosi-Isheri LCDA, Agboyi-Ketu LCDA, Isolo LCDA, Bariga LCDA, and Odi-Olowo LCDA.

The latest pronouncement came about three months after Sanwo-Olu ordered a total restriction on Okada in six LGAs, comprising Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, and Apapa, as well as LCDAs under them.

This brings it to 25 councils of the 57 councils in which Okada activities have been proscribed.

Announcing the ban at a press conference held at the Government secretariat in Alausa, Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladehinde, said the extension of the proscription order was a move by the State Government to sustain the gains recorded in the ongoing action against Okada operations in the State.

The commissioner said Okada accidents and fatalities had reduced by 63.7 per cent across the 15 local councils where the first phase of ban had been enforced, stressing that the development also significantly brought down the rate of crimes associated with motorcycles.

This, Oladehinde said, led to resolutions reached at a Stakeholders Forum, last Tuesday, with interest groups in which the participants unanimously urged the Government to make the Okada ban State-wide.

He said: “The Ministry in conjunction with the inter-ministerial committee on Okada, having critically accessed these resolutions and the challenges of Okada operations on the security architecture of the State, recommended to Mr. Governor not to go back on the already laid down phase ban in a bid to sustain the gains.

“Based on the apparent positive impact of the ban and the resolution of the Stakeholders’
Forum, Mr. Governor has approved the ban of Okada in another four LGAs and their respective five LCDAs for the second phase of the total ban, in addition to the on-going ban in the six LGAs and their respective LCDAs.”

The State Government advised residents to embrace alternative means of transportation for their journey, noting that the State had provided safe and sustainable First- and Last-Mile Transport Scheme, BRT Scheme, e-hailing taxi Scheme and other acceptable means for the safety of commuters.

Oladehinde disclosed that 7,500 motorcycles had been impounded and crushed in the ongoing enforcement, while resistance had dropped sharply. He issued a stern warning to riders who may want to flout the proscription order, stressing that the enforcement would not be sparing.

The Commissioner said the State Government had interventions in place to empower the affected Okada riders as an alternative means of livelihood. He urged them to embrace the intervention programmes which are being coordinated by six Government ministries and also Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF).

He said: “It is important to reiterate the State Government’s commitment to the safety, security of lives and properties in the State. In exercising this, any motorcycle impounded will be crushed and the process will be made public.

“Both riders and passengers arrested on proscribed routes will be made to face the full wrath of the law in line with the provision of Section 46, sub-section 1, 2 & 3 of the Transport Sector Reform Law (TSRL), 2018.”
Commissioner for

Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, observed that the last Tuesday meeting with stakeholders reviewed the enforcement action taken since the total ban, pointing out that the feedback from the public informed further measures to curtail the activities of the commercial motorcycles.

He said Okada riding remained alien to the State’s integrated transportation master plan.
The ban enforcement will be supervised by the Office of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation.

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