Lagos, Chinese firm to rollout 1,000 SUVs as taxis, to complete auto assembly plant in 12 months

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Lagos State Government has signed an agreement with a Chinese firm, Choice International Group (CIG) Motors Co. Ltd. on Thursday for the roll-out of 1,000 Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) as taxis for Lagos residents.

The signing and flag-off ceremony which was held at the Lagos House, Marina also included the signing of an agreement for the establishment of a Motor Assembly Plant in Lagos State, with the Governor saying that the roll-out of vehicles from the plant is expected within the next 12 to 18 months.

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said that the Lagos State Taxi Scheme was another innovative policy of his administration targeted at making life easier for Lagosians, improving mobility and creating a seamless multi-modal transport system.

Sanwo-Olu said that 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.

What Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is saying

Sanwo-Olu pointed out that 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 fulfilment of our desire to give Lagosians transport 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. 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 instalment 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 said.

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Sanwo-Olu said that the establishment of the Motor Assembly Plant was expected 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,” he said.

The Group Chairman, CIG Motors, Diana Chen, said that they hope to celebrate this exciting moment again when 1,000 units of branded SUVs with high-tech technology arrive and run across Lagos streets and roads, with 1,000 well-trained drivers carrying happy customers that live and work in Lagos.

What this means

  • This collaboration by the Lagos State Government with the Chinese auto firm is one of the ways of the government to get private sector participation in a modern transport system within the metropolis’
  • The establishment of the Assembly Plant and the Lagos Taxi Scheme were among the benefits of Governor Sanwo-Olu’s official trip to China.
  • This is a welcome development as it will help to change the face of public transportation in the state.

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