Lagos State Government and Choice International Group (CIG) Motors Co. Ltd. on Thursday rolled out 1,000 Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) as taxis for Lagos residents.
The launch, which was held at the Lagos House, Marina, also featured the signing of an agreement for the establishment of Motor Assembly Plant in Lagos State.
According to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos State Taxi Scheme is targeted at making life easier for Lagosians, improving mobility and creating a seamless multi-modal transport system.
Sanwo-Olu said the scheme 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.
A major attribute of a modern megacity was a world-class transport system with inter-connected services and mobility choices for the citizens.
According to him, the task of bequeathing a safe, efficient, quick, and modern public transport system is a key thrust of the administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda.
He said: “We are guided by the need for an equitable transport system with mobility choices for our people.
“The Taxi Scheme, to be known as ‘Lagos Ride’, which is being inaugurated today is in fulfillment of our desire to give Lagosians transport choices.
•Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu kicking off the 1,000 Units of Vehicles for the Lagos State Taxi Scheme Known as “Lagos Ride” and Signing of Agreement for the Establishment of a Motor Assembly Plant in Lagos…yesterday
“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.
“Under the Lagos State Taxi Service, drivers/operators will be given the cars for a period of four 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.
“The Lagos State Taxi Service is structured along a profitability model, it is self-sustaining and able to expand and regenerate itself.”
He described the Taxi Service as a summary of everything Lagos State stood for; as it was a viable means of promoting the Lagos brand.
The governor urged the drivers and operators to be of good conduct; as it was their chance to promote Lagos State as a place of opportunities with a level playing ground for everyone who was ready to work hard to accomplish their dreams.
On the proposed Motor Assembly Plant, Sanwo-Olu said the scheme was designed to revive industrialisation, increase citizens’ employment and wealth creation, boost tourism and encourage technology sharing, adaptation, and advancement.
He said: “As we inaugurate 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.
“I urge the beneficiaries of the Lagos State Taxi Service to collaborate with us to sustain the scheme. We have the political and administrative will to ensure the taxi scheme survives.
“I am hopeful that the operators will cooperate with the Lagos State Government to render excellent service to the people.”
CIG Motors Group Chairman Diana Chen described the assembly plant and the taxi scheme as products of Sanwo-Olu’s business shuttle to China.
Chen said: “Today, we are also very glad to announce ‘Lagos Ride’, a Lagos taxi scheme. At the time when 1,000 units of branded beautiful GS3, GAC SUVs with high-tech technology arrive and run across Lagos streets and roads, also 1,000 well-trained drivers will carry our happy customers that work and live in Lagos, at that time we will celebrate this exciting moment again.”