Lagos Taxi Market is Worth Billions, As State Government Unveils New Scheme

The Lagos state government has unveiled a new taxi system which it says will put a stop to haphazard taxi operations that has contributed to insecurity of life and property in Nigeria’s biggest commercial city.

Speaking at the inauguration of the new taxi regime in Ikeja, Lagos, Governor Babatunde Fashola, who said that the state’s taxi market is valued at N28 billion, revealed that the new system, which will aid in curbing insecurity presently noticed in taxi operations in the state, also has “has great economic advantage”.

According to Fashola, taxi operations has the potentials to boost tourism and create jobs, if it operations are properly formalised. He stated that improper regulation is already affecting the state’s tourism industry, saying “without good transport system, Lagos will not be tourist destination of our dream. That is why we are building strategic infrastructure.”

To enhance the operations of the new scheme, the government, Fashola said, had approved a flat rate of N100,000 for new taxi licence. He disclosed, however, that as a way of encouraging the smooth takeoff of the new regime, 14,000 taxi operators had been granted the licenses free of charge. The state government had early in the year approved vehicles not above 12 years from the date of manufacturing “will be allowed for taxi operation in the state.”

The governor said the new system would bring dignity to taxi operation and eradicate impression that taxi jobs “are for the dropouts or the dejected in the society,” arguing that it was purely a business for core professionals.

He explained that the new system would enable taxi operators create wealth; build well-regulated operational environment and provide insurance coverage for both commuters and operators.

He said the system had helped the state build a robust database for all taxi operators in the state, thereby putting the total number of 12,617 taxi drivers and 10,882 taxi cabs currently operating legitimately in the state. He urged the taxi operators to embrace the new system and check illegal operators, citing security implications and economic sabotage from non licensed operators

At the inauguration were stakeholders in the transportation sector such as, Kayode Opeifa, commissioner for transport and Tajudeen Adetoro, president of Lagos State Taxi Drivers and Cab Operators Association.

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