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Lagos Unveils Lag Ride to Rival Uber, Bolt, Others

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Lag Ride

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.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Reckless Driving: LASTMA Gives LagosRide Drivers Last Warning

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LagosRide drivers

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The General Manager of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Mr Bolaji Oreagba, has said henceforth, any driver of LagosRide taxi caught contravening the Lagos State Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018 would be dealt with in line with the law.

“Let me state here clearly that impunity of these LagosRide drivers plying their vehicles on BRT corridors/obstructions on major roads is alarming.

“As a responsible and responsive agency of government, we would no longer condone their recklessness as we shall continue to apply the full weight of the Law on motorists found contravening any sections of the traffic laws,” Mr Oreagba said over the weekend when he received the management of Ibile Holdings Limited, owners of LagosRide taxi.

The Chief Executive Officer of Ibile Holdings, Mr Abiodun Amokomowo, paid a working visit to LASTMA headquarters in Oshodi, Lagos.

During the visit, the LASTMA chief said the warning became very imperative to check excesses of these operators/drivers who do not usually consider the safety of other road users and their penchant for disregarding traffic law while on the road.

He said Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu created the initiative to create jobs for the unemployed, noting that the laudable platform should not be bastardised.

Earlier in his address, Mr Amokomowo said the company is an investment company of the Lagos State Government created to spur its economic growth by supporting commerce and viable and strategic industries that are crucial to the socio-economic development of the state.

He stated that as a way of ensuring the safety of riders and passengers, each LagosRide taxi is installed with a full security gadget, including a 360 dashboard camera that will give 24-hours auto visual feeds to the control centre in case of any emergency.

Mr Amokomowo maintained that each driver of LagosRide taxi undergoes a full verification exercise which includes Lagos State Drivers’ Institute (LASDRI) I.D Cards, medical history, verification of NIN and Lagos resident registration numbers and other background checks before being considered for the lease-to-own taxi scheme.

He, however, commended the management of LASTMA and all field officers for the wonderful job they are doing in ensuring proper management and control of traffic on Lagos roads.

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Lagos Ranks Worst in World’s Traffic Congestion Index

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Lagos traffic congestion

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.

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Crack in Nigeria Auto Journalists Association

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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.

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