By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
A micropayment solution for transportation, Eazychange, has emerged as the winner of the first edition of the Pegasus Fintech Challenge organized by SOFRI, a digital banking subsidiary of the Dunn Loren Merrifield (DLM) capital group.
The fintech pitch event, which was held on Wednesday at the DLM Capital Group headquarters in Ikoyi, Lagos, had 35 submissions where the top 5 finalists were selected.
The outcome of the pitch event was evaluated by series of pitch presentations given by the finalist to a panel of judges.
The panel of judges consisted of the group CEO of DLM Capital Group, Mr Sonnie Ayere; the Managing Director of Links Microfinance Bank, Mr Funsho Idowu; the CEO of Cowrywise, Mr Razaq Ahmed; the Chief Operating Officer of TeamApt, Mr Tobi Amira; the Team Lead Design and Innovation Lab at Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF), Omolola Tunde-Alade; as well as the CEO of Interswitch Group, Mr Mitchell Elegbe, who was represented by the Senior M&A Executive, Mr Victor Sada.
Among the top 5 finalists, Friendsvow emerged as the third runner-up, EsusuAfrica as second runner-up, OgaPOS as the first runner-up, while Easychange grabbed the gold medal of the challenge.
While speaking on the outcome of the pitch challenge, the COO of TeamApt, Mr Tobi Amira, said the program was primarily organised to enhance innovation and creativity in the area of Nigerian fintech. He encouraged the winners to properly utilize their cash prize as funding for their lucrative ideas.
According to him “It was a delight to sit as a member of the judging panel for the 2021 Pegasus Fintech Challenge. The program aligns with our objective as an organization to encourage innovation and creativity in the Nigerian fintech landscape.
“It was particularly exciting to see and listen to young Nigerian founders who have come together to build solutions aimed at improving the lives of individuals and businesses in Nigeria for the better.
“I must also commend the organisers of this pitch for making an effort to promote and encourage innovation through funding and support. It’s our hope that the winners would put the funds to good use and bring all their fantastic ideas to reality.”
Easychange is a fintech startup with a focus on creating easy cash payments for transportation in Nigeria, helping passengers who want to pay for transport fares to avoid balance/change issues with cash payments and enabling reliable and seamless payments.
Daily N800 Fee Covers Personal Income Taxes of Drivers, Others—LASG
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Lagos State Government has clarified that the newly introduced N800 daily Consolidated Informal Transport Sector Levy in the state was a structure put in place to reduce multiple taxes, dues and levies to all agents of state and local governments.
On Tuesday, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Rabiu Olowo, at a ceremony in Alausa, officially unveiled the scheme along with other stakeholders. It was to harmonise dues collected by the government from commercial motorists at parks and garages across the state.
The commercial drivers were asked to pay a flat fee of N800 daily with effect from Tuesday, February 1, 2022, and it covers local government levy, fee for clearing waste from motor parks and personal income taxes of the drivers, with tax cards issued to them.
According to Mr Olowo, “The N800 is a single structured collection of the monies payable to all government agencies and parties who are directly or indirectly associated with the transport sector.
“What the government has done is to organise the collection and reduce the multiplicity of levies and all sorts of taxes, dues and monies due to government from the transport unions.
“Bus drivers will get tax cards, and the issue of arbitrary payments will be eradicated once they pay from the point of their loading each day.”
However, the Chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers Union (NURTW), Mr Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo, emphasised that the daily N800 fee does not include the union’s normal statutory levy.
“The harmonised levy will not affect the national union ticket. What it is aimed at consolidating are all the levies collected by the government and it was the unions that approached the government to help us harmonise the payment of all the levies it has been collecting to prevent duplication of levies,” the transporter said.
The Special Adviser to Governor Sanwo-Olu on Transportation, Mr Toyin Fayinka, while also speaking at the event, said the development is the first approach towards a total restructuring of the transport sector.
According to him, all stakeholders were duly consulted before the final signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which is aimed at bringing sanity into motor parks in line with best practices globally.
Residents Gear up for Closure of Dopemu Road for Three Months
By Adedapo Adesanya
Residents of Agege, Dopemu, Egbeda and environs are gearing up for the closure of Dopemu Road in the Agege area of Lagos State for three months by the state government for repairs.
The state government had announced on Sunday via a statement by the Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Frederic Oladeinde, that the Babajide Sanwo-Olu Road would be closed from 10 p.m. on Friday, January 21 to enable the rehabilitation and upgrade of the facility.
According to the Commissioner, the repairs would be done in three phases, with the first phase to focus on the Ipaja Road up to the Adealu Street junction, which would last three months.
He stated that alternative routes have been mapped out by the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) to ensure effective control of vehicular movements along the axis, during the duration of the repairs.
Mr Oladeinde advised motorists inbound Dopemu Bridge from the Iyana Ipaja/Alagba axis to go through Ipaja Road to connect Oyewole Street into Seriki Street.
He said the movement would link them to Kolawole and Adebambo Streets, to access Adealu Road, to their desired destination.
“In the same vein, motorists heading toward Dopemu Bridge from Ipaja (Oke Koto) are to utilise Markaz Road to connect Awori Street and link Sarumi Alawo Street/Oniwaya and Surulere.
“With this, they will continue their journey or alternately, go through Alfa Nla from Old Ipaja Road, to connect Oniwaya/Surulere axis to reach the Dopemu Bridge.
“The alternative routes are in motorable conditions and will not pose any difficulty to motorists. We are also assuring that the LASTMA personnel will be at the diversion routes for efficient traffic management.
“I must commend Lagosians for their perseverance through the myriad of constructions going on across the state,” Mr Oladeinde said.
He then called for support from the residents, while assuring them that their sacrifice would yield the desired outcome for the state’s multi-modal transportation system.
OYRTMA Gets New Operational Commands in Ogbomosho
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
To further enhance the safety of road users in the state, the Oyo State Road Transport Management Authority (OYRTMA), has established a new operational command at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) and four other areas in Ogbomosho.
This development was confirmed by the Executive Chairman of OYRTMA, Dr Akin Fagbemi, during a working visit to the agency’s new commands in Ogbomosho on Tuesday.
He added that the new move will enhance administrative and operational effectiveness in the Ogbomosho zone, revealing that the agency now has more officers and men in the zone.
“We acknowledge the significance of Ogbomoso zone to the growth of the economy of Oyo State. Therefore, it is pertinent we do all within the ambit of the law to ensure free flow of traffic in the zone,” he said.
Mr Fagbemi said the mandate given to the agency by Governor Seyi Makinde is to operate effectively across the state and not just restrict its operations to a zone, thus the creation of the new commands in the Ogbomoso zone.
Meanwhile, the OYRTNA chief also used the occasion to pay a courtesy call to the Ogbomoso North Local Government Chairman, Mr Kabiru Akanji Adeoye.
The council boss expressed satisfaction to the agency for its timely intervention in issues pertaining to effective road traffic management, crash prevention, post-crash care and general road safety matters in the zone.
He emphasised that the total clampdown melted on ‘One-Way’ offenders by OYRTMA officials in the Zone has helped to significantly zero down cases of road crashes and saved the lives of numerous individuals.
“Before now, we only see and hear about OYRTMA’s activities in the State Capital, Ibadan but today, it is a great pleasure that the agency has not less than five specialised commands in Ogbomoso zone including the one newly created to ease traffic along LAUTECH and its environ,” he said.
Speaking further, he said: “Also, OYRTMA routine operations has helped us reduce crimes through the checking of Number plates and impounding vehicles, motorcycles etc without a fully registered number plate.”
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