By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
Nigerian bus hailing startup, Plentywaka, has secured $1.2 million in a seed round to expand its current reach as the provider of a better and safer transportation system for daily commuters in Lagos and Nigeria at large.
The round was led by Canadian Venture Capitalist, The Xchange. Other investors engaged in the seed round were SOSV and Shock Ventures, a follow-on investment from Techstars Toronto and angel investors from Canada, the United States, and several African countries.
It was not restricted to foreign investors as some Nigerian firms also took part in the seed round including Argentil Capital Partners, a boutique investment banking firm, as well as ODBA & Co Ventures.
In addition, the mobility startup also acquired the Ghanaian mobility platform, Stabus, to expand its services to Nigeria’s West African neighbour, Ghana.
This means that the Ghanian-based platform will now become Plentywaka Ghana, while its co-founder, Isidore Kpotufe, has been appointed as the new Country Manager of Plentywaka Ghana.
The development is coming after Stabus’ goal aligns with Plentywaka’s desire to scale up its operations and build a common goal, rather than competing.
Stabus was launched in 2019 and is said to have over 100,000 customers in its database in Accra, Ghana of which MTN Ghana and GB Foods are among its clientele.
The acquisition will see the teaming up of Stabus’ current workers with Plentywaka to help achieve the goal of providing safe and affordable transportation services as its services across Ghana will kick off on Thursday, September 16, 2021.
The acquisition, coupled with the fresh funds raised from its seed round, is considered as one of the strides made by the bus-hailing startup since its inception.
Recall that Business Post had reported two months ago that Plentywaka partnered with a leading interstate transport company, GUO, to expand both companies’ travel offerings.
The partnership saw GUO enabled its ticket booking on the Plentywaka app, therefore, joining its interstate travel network, Travelwaka. It also saw the on-boarding of 600 new buses from GUO onto its platform, leading to the opening up of new routes on the Travelwaka platform.
BSG, FRSC Partner on Don’t Drink and Drive Campaign
By Adedapo Adesanya
As part of efforts to complement the role of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) in ensuring the safety of all road users, the Beer Sectoral Group (BSG) of the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) is upping the ante on awareness against drink driving.
Business Post gathered from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that Nigeria alone recorded a total of 3,345 road traffic crashes as of the first quarter of this year, an average of 37 road crashes per day.
While the number of crashes decreased by 1.8 per cent from the 3,407 recorded in Q4 2021, the number of persons killed in road crashes in the first three months of this year increased by 11 per cent.
This necessitated the return of the campaign named Don’t Drink and Drive by both parties which kicked off on Wednesday, September 28, while park rallies will be held on September 29, 2022, in Ojota and Berger parks in Lagos State, to enlighten road users on the dangers of drunk driving and ways.
The Chairman of BSG and Managing Director of Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr Baker Magunda, confirmed this development during the official launch of the campaign as a build-up on efforts by the government to boost awareness and change perception about the consumption of alcoholic beverages while driving.
Recall that in 2019, the campaign was held in two states, Lagos and Rivers State, and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, while plans for the 2020 edition of the campaign were stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To ensure that the FRSC works efficiently in its task to ensure the safety of all road users, the BSG said it was committed to continuing to provide the FRSC with new breathalyzers while assisting the agency to calibrate its existing equipment.
Mr Magunda stated that the idea of the campaign is to support the FRSC in ensuring safety on Nigerian roads.
“FRSC as a key partner in the programme will conduct the rallies in line with the core components of the intervention. Globally, breathalyzers are reliable, quick, and accurate tools predominantly used by law enforcement officials to measure blood alcohol content,” he noted.
On his part, Mr Dauda Biu, the Acting FRSC Corp Marshall, said “The partnership will ensure the “Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign will be sustained.
“We appreciate BSG’s efforts in supporting and prioritising our quest for the safety of Nigerians. The provision of breathalyzers will go a long way in checkmating drunk driving on our roads,” he concluded.
Reckless Driving: LASTMA Gives LagosRide Drivers Last Warning
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.
Lagos Ranks Worst in World’s Traffic Congestion Index
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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