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.
Bolt Launches Ride-Hailing Inter-City Service, Offers 20% Discount
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The dreams of Nigerians travelling across towns and cities in Nigeria in a comfortable manner have now come to pass as a leading mobility platform, Bolt, has launched the first ride-hailing inter-city service, with customers enjoying a 20 per cent discount for rides booked on the platform, though only valid for up to a maximum of N5,000 per ride.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the company said the inter-city category on Bolt offers fast and convenient rides, noting that this service was launched on the backdrop of its desire to connect cities and transport people conveniently, an extension of its intra-city offering.
However, this service is currently available for the Lagos-Ibadan and Owerri-Port Harcourt routes and is accessible through the mobile platform, allowing users to book trips to and from these cities conveniently.
With the festive period approaching, Nigerians can utilise the inter-city service to visit family and friends within these cities where the service is available.
This provides riders with safe, fast and comfortable rides at the touch of a button. Bolt’s inter-city category advances its commitment to excellent service delivery by simplifying city-to-city transportation. With the innovative offering,
To use the service, riders can request an inter-city trip by simply setting their destination on the platform, confirming their pick-up location, and then clicking on request, which will connect them to a nearby driver, just like the intra-city service.
The difference is that the inter-city service is only available from 6 am until 3 pm daily. The inter-city service also provides replacement vehicles on standby to ensure no hindrance affects the journey.
In the statement, Bolt reiterated its position as the leading platform in Nigeria’s ride-hailing industry, noting that its ultimate focus is optimal customer satisfaction.
Since launching in the country, Bolt has redefined the mobility sector in Nigeria with innovative and unique offerings that ease riders’ mobility and provide earning opportunities for drivers.
Traffic: LASTMA Scolds Motorists Queuing up for Fuel
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Motorists queuing up for fuel at the different filling stations in Lagos have been warned against causing traffic gridlock, thereby putting other road users under untold hardship.
This caution came from the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), which expressed its displeasure over the development.
Queues resurfaced at the various petrol stations in the metropolis over the inability of fuel transporters to get the product across to independent marketers, causing some areas to experience the disruption of the free flow of vehicles.
While deploying more officers on traffic monitoring around filling stations across the state, the General Manager of LASTMA, Mr Bolaji Oreagba, said other road users should be considered by motorists who impede traffic flow.
He said the agency received reports of long queues around filling stations caused by motorists parking
indiscriminately and blocking roads while queuing to buy fuel.
The LASTMA described this as “disorderly behaviour,” saying the government will not tolerate such acts, imploring petrol marketers to ensure that their products are sold in an orderly manner that would not impede the free movement of other road users.
“The scarcity of fuel being experienced is not an excuse to block and impede traffic flow across Lagos. We want our roads to be free. We do not want fuel queues to constitute a burden for other road users in Lagos,” the General Manager stated.
He reiterated that efficient traffic management has remained crucial in the attainment of a seamless multi-modal transportation system in Lagos.
Haul247 Moves to Provide Haven for Trucks, Warehouses
By Adedapo Adesanya
With logistics recognised as the key to unlocking Africa’s commerce potential, Haul247, a Google Black Founders’ Fund grantee, has positioned itself as the continent’s Airbnb for trucks and warehouses.
Africa’s logistics industry remains fragmented, with informal carriers operating over 80 per cent of the market with one to three vehicles, indicating an urgent need to address the supply-demand mismatch since the ecosystem cannot optimize itself.
Experts argue that while the value of all logistics assets, including infrastructure and vehicles, can easily account for half of an advanced economy’s gross domestic product (GDP), Africa’s logistics sector continues to be hampered by a lack of supporting infrastructure, bottlenecks in service delivery, and a widespread informal approach to logistics business.
To tackle one of these critical issues, Haul247 founders; Mr Sehinde Afolayan, Mr Tobi Obasa and Mr Akindele Phillips believe that solutions to logistics in Africa that do not solve warehousing challenges will be more costly, inefficient, and risky.
For the trio, Haul247 was birthed after weeks of brainstorming to be the “Airbnb” for trucks and warehouses in Africa. The company’s value proposition is a unique platform offering opportunities for clients to transport and store their goods in one logistics ecosystem.
“Most companies cannot accurately predict and forecast since different vendors handle transportation and warehousing needs. This makes it hard for them to control, distribute and plan their logistics requirements effectively,” Mr Sehinde said.
He further noted, “Most manufacturing companies in Africa concentrate their manufacturing hubs in one city and move or distribute their products to other cities and towns across the countries. Typically, truck owners charge manufacturers and shippers exorbitant fees since they have to absorb the empty return leg.
“With Haul247, the system matches orders with available assets with our ‘Airbnb’ approach for trucks and warehouses. Partners are assured of reverse hauling, and shippers are charged less than they normally pay; this reduces transportation costs and guarantees efficient asset utilization.”
So far, Haul247 has onboarded 14 enterprise and FMCG businesses. The startup also has over a thousand trucks on its roster, with about 150,000 square meters of warehouse space available across multiple locations.
However, the company is not relenting in its objective to optimize logistics service delivery in key African markets. Over the next five years, Haul247 is looking to expand into other African countries. It is also working on upgrading its technology and integrating with key logistics ERPs to serve clients and partners better.
“Ultimately, we want to bring about increased efficiency in the logistics industry across the continent, improve trade mobility across African cities and commercial hubs, and provide better storage and financial products for our users,” Mr Afolayan noted.
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