By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The Lagos State government has stressed that the decision to ban the use of commercial motorcycles, otherwise known as Okada, on highways was to protect residents of the metropolis.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Frederic Oladeinde, while addressing journalists in Ikeja, said Okada operations were becoming a menace and that as a responsible government, it was necessary to take an action.
On Thursday, September 1, 2022, the state government extended the ban on Okada to Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Shomolu and Mushin Local Government Areas and Ikosi-Isheri, Agboyi-Ketu, Isolo, Ejigbo, Bariga and Odi-Olowo local council development areas (LCDAs).
The Commissioner said the state government has made available alternatives that will cushion the effects of the ban on passengers and commercial motorcyclists, warning that violators of the ban would be prosecuted, both the riders and the passengers, and could be sentenced to three years imprisonment if convicted.
“As a responsive government, we are not leaving the affected passengers who patronise these okadas stranded without any viable means of transportation,” he said, encouraging the riders to take advantage of the various empowerment programmes offered by government agencies such as the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA); Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment; Office of Civic Engagement; Office of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) and the Ministry of Agriculture.
He explained that the agencies provide internships, vocational skills training, loans for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Agricultural youth empowerment programmes.
Emphasising that the First and Last Mile Bus Transport Scheme, the BRT Scheme, the Lagos e-hailing taxi Scheme (LAGRIDE) and other sustainable modes of transportation were created to enhance easy transportation, Mr Oladeinde maintained that the enforcement of the ban would be consolidated and there will be no compromise.
“We implore the general public to comply as both the riders and passengers are liable to three years imprisonment if caught, and that bike will be confiscated and crushed in public,” he stated.
Responding to a question on the possibility of an option of fine for convicted riders and passengers, Mr Oladeinde said the decision would be at the discretion of the court of law.
Lagos Ranks Worst in World’s Traffic Congestion Index
By Adedapo Adesanya
Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, has been rated the worst among cities with traffic congestion in the world.
According to the traffic index released by Numbeo, a crowd-sourced global database of quality-of-life data, Lagos had a traffic index of 348.69 points to lead seven other cities surveyed on the African continent.
Other cities considered in the report were Nairobi, Cairo, Pretoria, Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban all in South Africa.
Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, was second with a traffic index of 256.39 points and Cairo recorded 244.23 points.
In South Africa, Pretoria had a traffic index of 230.51 points while Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban had 211.92 points, 201.29 points, and 121.29 points respectively.
Numbeo explains that the traffic index is a composite index of time consumed in traffic due to job commute, estimation of time consumption dissatisfaction, carbon dioxide (Co2) consumption estimation in traffic, and overall inefficiencies in the traffic system.
It added that traffic subjects commuters to the mistakes of other drivers on the road.
“Due to the anxiety that characterises most traffic jams, some motorists display aggressive behaviour towards others. And things could escalate quickly,” the report added.
Globally, Business Post found that Lagos was the only African city in the top ten countries. In the index, Lagos was followed by Los Angeles, California, USA in second place at 344.84 points while San Jose followed with 331.12 points came in third place.
Colombo, Sri Lanka; Delhi, India; Dhaka, Bangladesh; and Sharjah, United Arab Emirates occupied the fourth to seventh places with 305.13, 284.33, 283.49, and 283.43 respectively.
In the eighth spot was Kolkota in India with 272.03 points, San Francisco, also in California, USA was the ninth place with 261.64 points, while the top 10 was concluded with Guatemala City, Guatemala coming at 259.56 points.
Crack in Nigeria Auto Journalists Association
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
There seems to be trouble within the ranks of the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) as the chairman of the group, Mr Mike Ochonma, and his vice, Mr Tajudeen Adebanjo, are at loggerheads.
According to information gathered by Business Post, the two exchanged hot words a few days ago during one of their meetings in Lagos and efforts made to calm the situation were futile.
It was alleged that Mr Adebanjo wants to cause division within the association and has written letters to stakeholders in the industry in a bid to incriminate his boss.
The situation has forced the chairman of NAJA to move for the suspension of the vice chairman on the ground of gross misconduct.
It was learned that at an extraordinary meeting of the group at the National Stadium, Lagos last Friday, the umbrella body of journalists covering the motoring and auto industry passed a resolution to suspend Mr Adebanjo and then referred him to a disciplinary committee for further disciplinary action which could see him formally removed from office.
Meanwhile, Mr Ochonma has urged the auto stakeholders to remain steadfast with the association, reiterating the fact that it remains unified and would continue to work together as critical partners to the progress of the auto industry.
“As we have been doing over the years, be rest assured that as critical stakeholders of the industry, we would continue to be objective in our reportage as our different accurate and critical analyses of the auto industry’s activities will continue to help the industry to grow,” he said.
Bolt Assures Nigerian Drivers Improved Trip Experience
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Nigerian drivers have been assured of a better experience and safer trips by a leading ride-hailing platform, Bolt.
The company, in a statement, said it has introduced some features that will improve the safety of drivers on the platform.
It said the driver scores and driver trip sharing features further enforce its commitment to drivers’ well-being as they will give them more control over their ride performance.
The driver score feature is a transparent metric that allows drivers to better understand their in-app performance, encourages improvements in drivers’ habits and helps them aim to offer the best possible rider experience. The feature is designed to increase the quality of service, thus being at the core of a positive driver and rider experience.
The driver trip sharing feature which adds an extra layer of safety for drivers allows them to share a link with their real-time journey information. The link can be shared by Email, SMS, or via instant messaging apps and enables any third party with access to the link to track and follow the driver’s ride status and location in real-time.
The link generated with the driver trip sharing feature is valid for the current ride. Drivers must issue a new link for every ride if they feel necessary to do so. Links will remain active for up to 48 hours if a ride is not finished.
Accessing a link after the ride is finished will notify the user that the link is expired. Driver score is calculated for every last 100 trips performed by a driver. By default, a driver starts off with the maximum possible score of 100 “good” trips. This score will be decreased if the app picks up behaviour that is against good practices or harmful to the rider.
“Drivers are core to our business, so we are always innovating to improve their experience on our platform. The new features we have introduced add to our in-app customer experience and are aimed at helping drivers have more control of their Bolt rides and maximise their earnings within a safe environment.
“The driver score and driver trip sharing features are in line with the entrepreneurial desires of the drivers and improve the overall user experience of the Bolt app.
“We believe that drivers want to offer great services to riders. With the driver score feature, drivers can get constant feedback about their performance which will help them improve.
“The driver trip sharing feature on the other hand will act as a deterrent to people with potentially malicious intent against drivers on the Bolt platform. Overall, riders have the best chances of being paired with a driver who is committed to high-quality service,” the Regional Manager for Bolt in West Africa, Ms Ireoluwa Obatoki, said.
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