New Ride-Hailing Company Begins Operations in Ibadan
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
A new ride-hailing company known as AfriCar has commenced operations in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State and it intends to expand its services to other neighbouring states in the future.
Speaking at a ceremony to unveil the launch of its services on Thursday, the chief executive of AfriCar, Mr Sahil Vaswani, disclosed that all its cars are assembled in Lagos at Stallion Group’s Von Plant.
According to him, his organisation has partnered with the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) to develop the Bajaj Qute cars used for the new ride-hailing taxi.
“This car is assembled in Nigeria by Nigerians and is environmentally friendly, with 50 per cent lower carbon emissions than the average car,” he said at the event attended by Governor Seyi Makinde and the Minister of Industry, Trades and Investment, Mr Adeniyi Adebayo.
Also speaking at the event, Mr Makinde thanked the company for choosing Ibadan as its first base in ride-hailing service, saying this attests to the business-friendly atmosphere for investors in the state.
He said the introduction of the service into Ibadan was in line with his administration’s goal to invite new investors into the State.
Governor Makinde, who spoke through his Chief of Staff, Mr Segun Ogunwuyi, also said he was delighted to witness another demonstration of his administration’s commitment to make life comfortable for residents of the state.
“I am very delighted to be at the event of today which is a further demonstration of our administration’s commitment to making life comfortable for our people and thereby improving the socio-economic activities of the citizenry and the state at large,” he said.
He noted that transportation is evidently important for economic activity and social life in a state, adding that the current economic status of Oyo State is due to many factors, chief among these factors is the development and continuous improvement of our public transport system.
“The state has witnessed and as a matter of fact still witnessing a tremendous growth in the transport sector since the inception of this administration in the areas of transport infrastructures and procurement of vehicles for mass transit,” he added.
The Governor said as part of his administration’s efforts to improve the transportation sector in the state, he has purchased 109 buses for mass transit tagged Omituntun Bus Mass Transit.
He also said he has constructed four bus terminals at Iwo road, Challenge, and Ojo to ease commuting in the state capital.
Congratulating Stallion Group, owners of AfriCar, the Governor expressed hope that the launch will birth more interesting fruits as the group collaborates with his government for the well-being of the people of Oyo State.
On his part, the Minister appreciated Stallion Group, a home-grown conglomerate, for adding value to the economy of the country for the past 52 years, thanking Mr Makinde for the welcoming environment that has been provided to AfriCar.
He said the firm has the potential to transform the transportation industry in the state, providing both employment opportunities and low-cost rides.