Fashola Commissions 200 New Cabs, Says Govt Will Encourage Use Of Regulated Transport Services
Aug 26, 2008 - Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Tuesday commissioned 200 brand new corporate cabs for the use of Lagosians with an assertion that the government is determined to reduce traveling time on Lagos roads by encouraging motorists to make use of regulated public transport facilities.
The Governor who spoke at the new Lagos House in Ikeja added that the unveiling of the new taxi cabs signifies its commitment to partner with private sector to let it do what it knows how to do best while the government sits back as the regulator.
In his words: “This programme signifies our commitment to partner with the private sector, to let them do what they can do, while the government sits back as the regulator, providing an enabling environment that stimulate entrepreneurship and give courage for investment risk and ensure that those risks are preserved and protected”
Governor Fashola explained that the philosophy of the present government is to start small, stay focused, study what it has done and sustain it, adding that this explains what the government has done with the Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT) and intends to do with corporate cabs being deployed.
The Governor added: “This unveiling ceremony, for me is not a celebration, it is an opportunity to communicate with our people on a larger basis to bring to our homes, the opportunities that exist for investment and for new jobs”.
“It is also an opportunity to show them what there government is doing and that we are also providing a choice for the commuters”, Governor added.
He informed that it is the desire of the present administration to ensure that it bequeaths to motorists and commuters in Lagos a reform and integrated transportation system which promotes the use of land, water and rail for easy movement.
He expressed delight that the BRT brand has achieved success beyond the expectation of the present government both locally and internationally, thus putting Nigeria on the global map for efficient and best practice transportation network.
Governor Fashola said BRT with a little over 260 buses currently employs 2000 people and that the organization is billed to take delivery of another 200 buses in September.
The Lagos State helmsman said the state and Nigeria have no business discussing unemployment because it has not fully exploited the opportunities that exist in the local economy.
He warned that the state government would be bring to justice any motorist irrespective of the offices they occupy that plies the BRT dedicated lanes, as he as the Governor has never plied the dedicated lanes.
“The BRT is made for the poor masses and this government is committed to ensuring that they too have access to quality living like the well to do, therefore, we would frown at anyone trying to infringe on their rights to quality life”, Fashola added.
The Governor said with 2000 jobs already assured by the Government through BRT, an increase in the fleet of buses would also ensure that the number of jobs increases, adding that with the projects being financed by financial institutions, the economy is being grown and profits being made.
He said the state is reviewing a number of applications to grant additional franchise to other operators including the State Union of Taxi Drivers whose application the state is about to conclude so that the people of Lagos can benefit from competition and choice from a critical stakeholder in the transportation sector.
He said never again would Lagos serve as a dumping ground for second hand services and vehicles, adding that “we are not a generation of second hand people”.
The Governor said he foresees a future where an assembly plant would be established in Lagos by a single individual just as the corporate taxi cab initiative has come from CCSL, promising that the state would support such initiative and also prevail on the government at the centre to do same.
In his address, Commissioner for Transportation, Professor Bamidele Badejo urged the company to abide by all rules and regulations guiding taxi cabs and car hire services in Lagos State as well as all extant traffic laws as applicable on Lagos public roads.
He added that the corporate cabs are private vehicles and are forbidden from plying BRT dedicated lanes.
In his address, the Chairman of Corporate Cabs Services Limited, Dr Odunlami Kola Daisi informed that part of the unique features of the taxis is the provision of unique branding of blue colour stripped on sides, roof top, bonnet and boot with the Lagos State official colours and official customized registration numbers.
The Governor later commissioned the 200 cars and test drove in one of them back to his office.