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Lagos, CIG Motors eye production of vehicles in Nigeria

…as Sanwo-Olu unveils new ride-hailing taxi scheme

Lagos State government on Thursday signed a joint venture agreement with an automobile company – CIG Motors Company Limited, for the establishment of vehicle assembly plant in the state.

With the deal sealed, it is expected that within the next 24 months (two years), the state government will have a jointly-run factory for the production of different classes of brand new cars.

The planned establishment of the vehicle assembly plant in Lagos, is a fallout of the bilateral agreements reached between the state government and Chinese Investors’ Community when Sanwo-Olu visited the Asian country in November, 2019.

The governor also signed a partnership agreement with CIG Motors Company Limited for the take-off of a new e-hailing taxi scheme aimed at redefining road transportation in Nigeria’s most populous city. The new ‘Lagos Ride’ scheme would be commencing operations with 1,000 units of brand new Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs).

IBILE Holdings Limited, a state-owned corporation, would be driving the two investment agreements on behalf of the Lagos State government.

At the signing ceremony held at State House, Marina, 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.

According to Sanwo-Olu, the new ‘Lagos Ride’ scheme is in fulfilment 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 profitability model and designed to be self-sustaining for expansion and growth.

“I am elated to unveil the Lagos State taxi scheme, which is another innovative policy of this administration targeted at making life easier for Lagosians, improving mobility and creating a seamless multi-modal transportation system. The modern ride-hailing service is one of the state government’s socio-economic intervention programmes, which will be professionally managed in line with global best practices

“Our social intervention programmes are tailored towards the eradication of poverty, provision of jobs and other employment opportunities as well as the provision of basic necessities, that make good governance our people’s reality. A major attribute of a modern megacity is a world-class transportation system with inter-connected services and mobility choices for the citizens,” he said.

Under the taxi scheme, Sanwo-Olu said the cooperative society in the state 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 instalment. At the end of the credit tenure, the operators will have the opportunity to fully own the cars.

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 and 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. I urge other stakeholders and private investors to collaborate with us to sustain the scheme. We have the political and administrative will to ensure business survives in Lagos.”

Diana Chen, chairman of CIG Motors Company Limited, pledged the full commitment of the automobile firm to the agreement.

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 State government.

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