Lagos, Oando sign deal for electric mass transit buses

The Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Oando Clean Energy Limited to roll out electric mass transit buses, charging infrastructure, and service centres.

Lagos is Africa’s most populous metropolis, with over 25 million residents, and projections suggest that it would be the world’s most populated city by 2100, with over 100 million residents.

Abimbola Akinajo, managing director of LAMATA, said in a statement that the MoU would accelerate the achievement of the government’s transportation goal and would positively impact the health of Lagosians and the environment.

“Oando Clean Energy came to us with a comprehensive solution that went beyond electric mass transit buses to include supporting infrastructure, and this was key for us, as the full remit of an EV support ecosystem is the only way to achieve success,” she said.

She said the collaboration would be part of a number of initiatives, including the Lagos State Blue and Red Rail, which would set the tone for the state’s eventual decarbonisation of the road transportation sector.

Akinajo said the initiative is looking at the future of automotive towards changing consumer behaviour, and ongoing improvements in battery and charging technology.

Adewale Tinubu, chairman of Oando Clean Energy, expressed his delight at the agreement and praised Lagos State for its ambition of becoming a model for others to follow.

He said: “We are excited to be embarking on this journey with Lagos State and must commend their foresight and willingness to forge a template for others to follow.

“It’s easy to be perturbed by the perceived challenges that come with the mega-city status tag, but by taking this bold step, Lagos is showing the continent what is indeed possible and giving other cities the impetus to redefine today how to build a public transport system for the future.”

According to the statement, the initiative emphasises the relevance of public-private partnerships (PPP) in achieving the continent’s industrialisation objectives.

It said the PPP model had grown in importance across Africa as a finance and operational vehicle for social and economic infrastructure.

Read also: Lagos blue line rail project now at 90% completion

“Today, investments in more sustainable transport infrastructure solutions can deliver environmental, social and economic benefits beyond a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. In the medium to long term, it will unlock job opportunities, promote knowledge transfer and kick start Lagos State and hopefully other states across the nation to leapfrog in terms of mass public transport infrastructure.” Tinubu said.

Fred Oladeyinde, commissioner for transport, Lagos State, said: “With an understanding that transportation is a key emitter of greenhouse gases in Nigeria, we developed a strategy to cut greenhouse gases by 50 percent.

“A key component of this strategy was identifying and developing a more robust mass transit system for Lagos that would include rail and waterways amongst others. Using electricity to power mass transit is a step in the right direction, and from there we would gradually transit to private cars.”