Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday rolled-out 1000 Sports Utility Vehicles as Taxis for Lagosians, describing it as another innovative policy of his administration, targeted at making life easier for Lagosians, improving mobility, and creating a seamless multi-modal transportation system.
The governor, who also signed an agreement for the establishment of a vehicle assembly plant in Lagos State, said that the project that would create jobs, accelerate socio-economic growth, and further put the state on the global map as the centre of excellence and a modern megacity committed to sustainable development.
Speaking while unveiling the taxis, which was facilitated in conjunction with CIG Motors, Governor Sanwo-Olu described the initiative as social intervention programmes tailored towards the eradication of poverty, provision of jobs and other employment opportunities as well as the provision of necessities, that make good governance of the people’s reality.
Sanwo-Olu said, ”I am elated to commission this project. It is even more heartwarming to note that the Lagos State Taxi Scheme is being inaugurated along with the signing of the agreement for the establishment of a vehicle assembly plant in Lagos State- a project that will create jobs, accelerate socio-economic growth, and further put our State on the global map as the centre of excellence and a modern megacity committed to sustainable development.”
As a people-oriented government, the governor said that his administration was constantly on its toes, thinking of ways to make Lagos more habitable for its residents, initiating and implementing ideas to make life better for all Lagosians, and to achieve our dream of a Greater Lagos.
“A major attribute of a modern megacity is a world-class transportation system with inter-connected services and mobility choices for the citizens. Consequently, the task of bequeathing a safe, efficient, quick, and modern public transportation system is a key thrust of our administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda. We are guided by the need for an equitable transportation system with mobility choices for our people.
“The Taxi Scheme, to be known as “Lagos Ride”, which is being commissioned today is in fulfilment of our desire to give Lagosians transportation choices. It is one of the Lagos State Government’s socio-economic intervention programmes- a modern ride-hailing service that will be professionally managed in line with global best practices.”
The governor explained that under the Lagos State Taxi Service, drivers/operators will be given the cars for a period of four (4) years during which they pay a monthly installment and they will have the opportunity of owning the cars, after they have fully paid the hire amount. He added that the the Lagos State Taxi Service is structured along a profitability model; it is self-sustaining and able to expand and regenerate itself.
“In coming up with a name, logo and colour for the scheme, we took into consideration our heritage as Lagosians, especially our resilient spirit, our cultural heritage, our strength, vibrancy and independence as well as the marketability of the Lagos State Brand.
The Lagos State Taxi Service represents everything Lagos State stands for; it is a viable means of promoting the Lagos Brand, and I urge the drivers and operators to be of good conduct; this is their chance to promote Lagos State as a place of opportunities with a level playing ground for everyone who is ready to work hard to accomplish their dreams,” he said.
On the sustainability of the scheme, the governor said that the partnership with CIG Motors also includes the establishment of a Motor Assembly Plant, in Lagos, for the production of different classes of motor vehicles, using CKD parts. This, he said was in furtherance of the economic growth agenda of this administration.
“The establishment of the Motor Assembly Plant is expected to revive industrialization, increase citizens’ employment and wealth creation, boost tourism, and encourage technology sharing, adaptation, and advancement.
As we commission the taxis and sign the Joint Venture Agreement for the establishment of the Motor Assembly Plant, Lagosians should expect a roll-out of vehicles from this plant within the next 12 to 18 months,” he explained.
On her part, the Group Chairman CIG Motors Company Limited, Chief Diana Chen said that the firm believes in seeing more Nigerians afford a brand-new car with trusted quality and enjoyment of driving.
She said, “GAC motors, ‘My Gee’, will soon become a hot slogan across Nigeria. We are in this together, to build one of the best Nigerian, African Brands from today, with your efforts, with our efforts, with everyone’s effort together.