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Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has launched the Lagos Ride transport initiative with 1,000 new GAC cars rolled out in the first phase.
The taxi-hailing initiative, which is being operated on a lease-to-own basis, is a component of the government’s multimodal transportation blueprint executed under the Traffic Management and Transportation pillar of the THEMES agenda.
The initiative is a partnership between Lagos State-owned IBILE Holdings Limited and CIG Motors Company Limited.
Operators are required to pay about N1.9 million down payment, covering 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 noted 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 business, but to offer safer alternatives and clear the roads of rickety cars.
The scheme, he added, will provide opportunities to the operators to become owners within three to four years.
He said: “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 completing payment of its subsidised cost.
“This 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 begin operations between the last quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2023.”
To ensure riders’ and passengers’ security, security gadget, including a 360 dashboard camera that will give 24-hour audio-visual feeds to the control centre, has been pre-installed in each car deployed for the scheme. Each car also comes with a panic button to be used in case of assault or emergency. The panic button is also on mobile application and is connected to the Control and Command Centre.
Sanwo-Olu also hinted the automobile assembly plant being set up in Lagos – another component of the partnership with CIG Motors, is 60 per cent completed, with an anticipated launch and start of operations expected in September.
“What we are witnessing today 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 initiative on job creation, youth employment and economic growth and development in the state cannot be overstated,” he stated.
Commissioner for Transportation Frederic Oladeinde described the scheme as ‘another milestone achievement’ by the government.
He noted that the initiative has joined an array of other innovative solutions initiated in the transport sector which are targeted at redefining public transportation.