The Lagos State Government has launched a new taxi scheme with 1,000 brand new GAC cars.
The program, dubbed “Lag Ride,” was launched at a ceremony held Wednesday at the State House in Alausa.
According to a statement signed by the chief press officer of the Lagos government, Gboyega Akosile, the ride-on taxi initiative, which is operated on a lease-to-own basis, is a component of the transport plan. state government multimodal running. under the Traffic Management and Transport pillar of the THEMES agenda of the Sanwo-Olu administration.
The initiative is a partnership between Lagos State-owned company IBILE Holding Limited and CIG Motors Company Limited, with the aim of providing clean and reliable means of moving taxis across the metropolis at an affordable cost, using vehicles brand new.
Operators are required to pay a deposit of approximately N1.9 million, the sum of which covers the capital 20% of the cost of the vehicle, registration and insurance. Every car used in the program is equipped with technological safety features that monitor every trip taken.
Sanwo-Olu, at the launch of the program, said the state had taken a new step in its desire to develop an efficient transport model in line with modernity and comfort.
The governor said the aim was not to drive out existing taxi operators, but to provide a safer alternative and clear the roads of rickety cars used for taxis.
The program, he said, will offer operators the opportunity to own the vehicles within three to four years.
“The need to provide better, dignified and more rewarding transportation and livelihoods to the unemployed and underemployed has given rise to the new ‘Lagos State Taxi Scheme’, which will be operated on a hire-purchase basis. Under this arrangement, a beneficiary will receive a brand new car that will become the property of the driver once payment of the subsidized cost of the vehicle is completed.
“This taxi program will complement the various bus services that have a significant impact on the lives of our residents; the water transport service, which is seeing unprecedented ridership, as well as the Blue and Red Line Rail services which are about to start commercial operations between the last quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2023,” said Sanwo-Olu.
To improve driver and passenger safety, Sanwo-Olu said a comprehensive security gadget, including a 360° dash cam that will provide 24-hour audio-visual feeds to the control center, has been pre-installed. on each car deployed for the program. .
He added that each car was fitted with a physical panic button which could be used by anyone on board in the event of an assault or emergency. The panic button, the governor said, is also on the mobile app and is connected to the command and control center.
Sanwo-Olu has revealed that the car assembly plant being set up in Lagos – another component of the partnership between CIG Motors and the state government – is 60% complete, with the launch of its operations scheduled in September.
“What we are witnessing today is that Lagos is moving away from the era of jiggling ‘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.
Transport Commissioners Dr Frederic Oladehinde described the scheme as “another milestone achievement” from the state government, noting that the initiative had joined a range of other innovative solutions launched in the transport sector. transport, which aimed to redefine public transport.
To make rides affordable, the commissioner said the technology on which the system was run made carpooling possible for passengers, who would agree to share rides and share transportation costs.
The President of CIG Motors in Nigeria, Ms. Diana Chang, said that the roadmap for the urbanization of the transport system in Lagos began in November 2019 when the Governor and members of his cabinet visited the Republic of China for a 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 the 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 that more than 5,700 drivers had downloaded the driver’s mobile apps last Tuesday, of which 1,786 drivers submitted applications.
Amokomowo added that registration and registration fees have been accepted for 359 drivers, while others are awaiting verification.
As part of the process, each operator must undergo a comprehensive verification which will include their Lagos State Drivers Institute (LASDRI) ID cards, medical history, verification of resident registration numbers from the NIN and Lagos and other background checks to ensure passenger safety. .
“The launch of the taxi scheme was warmly welcomed by taxi drivers, who described the initiative as a ‘unique and better alternative’,” added the boss of IBILE Holding.
Sam Mfuk, who is the first driver to have successfully entered the scheme, said: “When we first heard about Lagos Ride, we were skeptical. But, when we attended the stakeholder meetings, we changed our minds. Lagos Ride has become the answer to our prayers in the riding industry.”