By Adedapo Adesanya
The Governor of Lagos, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, unveiled the first batch of 1,000 brand-new GAC-branded automobiles, otherwise known as Lag Ride, for a safe, comfortable and modernised taxi scheme in the state to rival operations of Uber, Bolt and others.
Launched at the State House in Alausa on Wednesday, 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.
The Lagos governor said the state had moved another step forward in its drive to develop an efficient transportation model in tune with modernity and comfort.
He explained that the aim was not to run existing hailing ride operators out of the business but to offer safer alternatives and clear the roads of rickety cars being used for taxi business.
The scheme, he said, would 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 with 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 a 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.”
To improve riders’ and passengers’ security, Mr 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, was also on the mobile application and is connected to the Control and Command Centre.
Mr 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 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 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.
Delivery Bikes Not Affected by Lagos Okada Ban—Police Chief
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Commissioner of Police for Lagos Command of the Nigeria Police Force, Mr Abiodun Alabi, has clarified that delivery bikes will not be affected by the latest ban on commercial motorcycles commonly called okada.
The Governor of Lagos, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Wednesday announced a fresh ban on activities of okada riders in six local government areas of the state.
Speaking to Channels Television on Sunrise Daily on Thursday, Mr Alabi said, “It does not affect couriers, but the couriers will not carry passengers,
“We will have to make sure they are couriers and not pretending to be one.
“Then the other officers who are okada owners must be uniformed personnel who are going to their various places of work.
“Those who own power-bikes are not affected, because it’s not meant for commercial purpose.”
The police chief said, unlike the previous times, the new policy will be thoroughly enforced, alleging that most okada riders are criminals and must be taken off the road.
However, he acknowledged that banning okadas may have its side effects.
“We know that banning the okada riders can actually increase the crime rate. And we are not unmindful of that and we are already putting in place a lot of strategies to contend with it,” he said.
“We know that it will send a lot of them to unemployment. We are aware of that and are preparing for it,” he added.
The latest ban on okada operators in the affected councils followed the February 2020 restriction placed on the activities of the commercial motorcycles.
The Governor, who spoke at a meeting with the Commissioner of Police, Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) at the State House in Alausa, said the directive affected all highways across six Local Government Areas (LGAs) and nine Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) of the state.
According to Mr Sanwo-Olu, the new directive will take effect from June 1, 2022, directing security operatives to enforce the proscription order across the listed councils.
He said, “The total ban order extends to all LCDAs under the listed councils,” which are Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, and Apapa.
Again, Governor Sanwo-Olu Bans Okada in Lekki, Ikeja, Others
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has announced a total ban on operations of commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, in Lekki and other places.
At a meeting on Wednesday, he said the directive will become effective from June 1, 2022, and affects six Local Government Areas (LGAs) and nine Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) of the state.
According to him, okada riders will not be allowed to ply highways in these areas, which include Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, and Apapa.
The action of the governor followed the growing menace and nuisance constituted by commercial motorcycles in the state, including the lynching of a Sound Engineer, Mr David Imoh, in the Lekki area of the state last week.
This is not the first time Mr Sanwo-Olu is restricting operations of commercial motorcycles as in February 2020, he banned Okada operations in the state.
At the meeting with the Commissioner of Police, Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) at the State House in Alausa today, the Governor said the state government would not condone any security formation that relaxes the new ban in its jurisdiction.
“After critical review of our restriction on Okada activities in the first six Local Government Areas where we restricted them on February 1, 2020, we have seen that the menace has not abated. We are now directing a total ban on Okada activities across the highways and bridges within these six Local Governments and their Local Council Development Areas, effective from June 1, 2022.
“This is a phased ban we are embarking on this period, and we expect that within the short while when this ban will be enforced, Okada riders in other places where their activities are yet to be banned can find something else to do. We have given the notice now and we expect all commercial motorcycles plying the routes in the listed councils and areas to vacate the highways before enforcement begins. The enforcement will be total,” he said.
Mr Sanwo-Olu advised residents patronising Okada riders on highways to embrace the alternative transport schemes already provided by the government to plan their journey.
He said the government had provided last mile buses, medium-capacity and high-capacity buses in the affected areas for the convenience of commuters.
The Governor insisted that Okada riding on the highways remained unsafe and would no longer be tolerated, noting that the state government had been ramping up construction work on its two rail line projects to further increase the choices of commuting for residents.
“We have provided last-mile buses in the affected areas; they are working and effective. We also have medium-capacity buses and high-capacity buses working in these areas. Before the end of the year, we are also bringing the rail along these corridors with their terminals. We have provided jetties as well to provide alternatives.
“We will not sit back and watch criminally-minded people use that mode of transportation (motorcycles) to perpetrate crimes and criminality in Lagos.
“Lives are being lost on a daily basis, preventable accidents are happening every day and the riders are not respecting any of our traffic laws. The situation has led to a complete breakdown of law and order. This ban has come to stay and we will not tolerate any weakness in enforcement,” he said.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr Abiodun Alabi, directed his men to ensure complete enforcement of the Governor’s order in the listed councils and areas.
Lagos to Prosecute Truck Driver, One Other Over Attack on VIS Officials
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A truck driver and one other suspect would be prosecuted by the Lagos State government for allegedly attacking operatives of the Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS).
The VIS officials were reportedly beaten by a mob on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, along Airport Road in Oshodi, resulting in two of the operatives receiving treatment at the hospital.
According to a statement signed by the Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Frederic Oladeinde, the government officials were attempting to apprehend the truck driver for allegedly violating the traffic law of the state when the mob descended on them, using various weapons to attack them.
Mr Oladeinde, who frowned at the development, promised that the Lagos State government will take decisive action against the perpetrators of the act.
He said the truck driver and one of the attackers have been apprehended and would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, stressing that others who are still at large will soon be brought to book.
Mr Oladeinde decried the frequent attacks on the enforcement teams of the state government by citizens, warning that those caught in the act will continue to face the full wrath of the Law.
Also speaking on the incident, the Director, Lagos State Vehicle Inspection Service, Mr Akin-George Fashola, urged members of the public to always channel their grievances against government officials to the appropriate authorities for necessary action instead of taking laws into their hands through unwarranted attacks.
“As we say in the transport sector, safety implementation without enforcement is mere entertainment. The role of the VIS is to ensure sanity on our roads for the safety of lives and property and if in the cause of this onerous assignment, you feel hard done by our officials, the last thing you want to do is to resort to self-help which is against the law. Endeavour to channel your grievances through the appropriate channel,” Mr Fashola advised.
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