Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has unveiled a new e-hailing taxi scheme to redefine road transportation in the state. The governor, on Thursday, signed a partnership agreement with CIG Motors Company Limited for the take-off of “Lagos Ride” scheme with pilot fleet of 1,000 units of brand new Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs).
Also at the ceremony held at the State House in Marina, Sanwo-Olu formally sealed a Joint Venture Agreement with the automobile company for the establishment of a Vehicle Assembly Plant in the State.
In the next 24 months, Lagos will have a jointly-run factory for the production of different classes of brand new cars.
Establishment of CIG Vehicle Assembly Plant in Lagos was part of the bilateral agreements reached by the State Government and Chinese Investors’ Community when the Governor visited the Asian country in November, 2019.
IBILE Holdings Limited, a State-owned corporation, will be driving the two investment agreements on behalf of the Lagos State Government.
Sanwo-Olu said the new ride-hailing taxi was a social intervention programme initiated with an objective to create jobs and economic opportunities for residents of the State.
He said the “Lagos Ride” scheme is in fulfillment of his administration’s desire to give residents a better choice in road transportation by offering a safe, efficient and modern cab model in line with policy thrust of his Government’s T.H.E.M.E.S agenda.
The Governor said the taxi scheme, which is expected to fully take-off in the next six months, had been structured along a profitable model and designed to be self-sustaining for expansion and growth.
Under the taxi scheme, Sanwo-Olu said the Cooperative Society in the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment would give operators brand new SUVs for a period of four years, during which they would pay a monthly installment. At the end of the credit tenure, the operators will have the opportunity to fully own the cars.
The Governor said the scheme would offer operators flexible repayment plan and affordable savings for vehicles’ maintenance.
Sanwo-Olu said the establishment of the Vehicle Assembly Plant was in furtherance of his administration’s economic growth blueprint, stressing that the Joint Venture Agreement would revive industrialisation, drive up skilled youth employment, create wealth, boost tourism, and encourage technology sharing, adaptation, and advancement.
He said, “As we formally sign the Joint Venture Agreement for the establishment of Motor Assembly Plant, Lagosians should expect a roll-out of vehicles from this plant within the next 18 months.
Commissioner for Transportation, Frederic Oladehinde, said the e-hailing taxi scheme was initiated, following the approval of IBILE Holding Limited’s proposal in the August 31, 2020 State’s Executive Council meeting.
He said the Assembly Plant and the taxi scheme would boost socio-economic activities and support the development of ancillary enterprises in transportation sector.
CEO of CIG Motors Company Limited, Diana Chen, pledged the full commitment of the automobile firm to the agreement.
Ms Chen, who is also the Vice Chairman of China-Africa Business Council (CABC), disclosed that the automobile firm would sponsor 50 students for a two-year engineering training in a vocational school in China to strengthen its partnership with the Lagos Government.
She said, “My teams are ready to work with 100 percent effort to build GAC MOTORS in Nigeria in the highest level of a brand. This international Joint Venture Project will soon bloom up in the Chinese business communities both in Nigeria and China. I assure you that, we will use this partnership as a best example to introduce and promote a Greater Lagos where greater opportunities abound.”
The highpoint of the event was the signing of the partnership agreements by the Managing Director of IBILE Holding Limited, Abiodun Amokomowo, and the Vice Chairman of CIG Motors Company Limited, Linus Idahosa, in the presence of the Governor, Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, and Lagos Attorney General, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN.