By Benjamin Omoike
Lagos State Government (LASG), has launched a new Taxi Scheme tagged “LAGRIDE” with no less than 1,000 fleet of cars.
At the official launch held on Wednesday at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, the Capital city, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, described the new Taxi Scheme as “another promise kept”.
“When we say something, we keep to it,” he said, stressing that the Administration has been faithful to keep promises structured within the framework of the State’s transportation master plan.
“It is an honour to drive development of this great city Lagos to put the State on the plan of a safe, secured, comfortable, modern, and forward looking taxi scheme,” he said.
He said his Administration remains committed to implementing the entire State’s transportation master plan “from the high point of infrastructure to the low point of fleets needed” to drive the system.
The Taxi system, which he said is in line with the multi-modal transport system, keys into the Administration’s policy thrust, the THEMES Agenda, and would be driven and aided by technological devices.
He mentioned that beneficiary-drivers would have the vehicles become theirs upon completion of a payment plan, while they are provided with technological devices as Android phones fortified with Apps for communication with users.
Governor Sanwo-Olu said as replicated in the tech-driven cab system locally developed, the government would continue to explore local components and local indigenous ideas to solve rising challenges.
Sanwo-Olu, who said the Government was committed to supporting development of young people with globally competitive ideas, mentioned that with new initiatives coming on board, hundreds of thousand of jobs were being created.
He said the Taxi scheme is the last in the series of the master plan, after provision of large and medium capacity buses, to cater for the large spectrum of transportation need under the THEMES Agenda.
According to him, the tech-aided vehicles fortified with drivers, uses Apps to facilitate its operation, with security camera giving audio and 360 video coverage, connected to a control and command centre, to ensure safety of drivers and passengers.
Maintaining that the scheme is a testament to activate private sector engagement to scale-up such initiatives for development, while the government serves as an enabler, he mentioned that the government looks forward to increase the fleet to broaden the Taxi Scheme in Lagos.
He called on residents to join the development course, while the government plays the role as an enabler, facilitating the processes.
The State’s Commisioner for Transportation, Dr. Fredrick Oladeinde, said LagRide was informed by the need to address challenges in transportation towards enhancing economic development in the State.
Oladeinde said safety and security being paramount to the government, informed the inclusion of the technological devices structured in the working system of the vehicles.
The Managing Directior, Ibile Holdings, Abiodun Amokomowo, said LagRide would provide clean and reliable transport for those who cannot afford new cars to ride in new vehicles.
The Chairman, CIG motors Co. Ltd, and Chairman GAC motors, Chief Diana Chen, said Lagos as Africa’s largest metropolitan city, has received a boost in its development into an urban city by deliberate efforts of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led Administration.
She said against all odds, the organisation was committed to the State’s vision encapsulated in the LagRide, towards achieving urbanisation demands.
The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Cui Jianchun, said the new initiative is historical for Lagosians, noting that his nation would continue to work together with the State to build what he described as “Nigeria-China brands” in the automobile industry, using new technologies to penetrate Lagos for development.
Head of Project, Lagos Ride Limited, Adeyinka Onigbanjo, disclosed that with more than 5,700 interests and downloads of the App, and investment project to complement the LagosRide scheme, the initiative has come to stay.