Fashola puts taxi business market value at N20b
• Begins issuance of new cab licences
THE Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola, has put the current market value of taxi business in the state at N20 billion with a very bright prospect of expansion.
Fashola, who spoke at the launching of new Lagos Taxi system and distribution of Taxi licences to operators in Lagos last week, said the licensing system was not just a government police but a business support system in which stakeholders are partners.
According to him, in 2007, taxi system was a shadow of what it is today but has now become a competitive business, which the state wants to expand because of the national and international identity given to the state by the taxi operators.
He declared: “Today is to fulfill a promise that when people gave their words in exchange for votes, they must deliver. I am happy that our promise made to you to support us during the election has been fulfilled. When election is coming again, you can distinguish people that say things for sake of elections.
APC government will also fulfill its promises, I thank you for voting for the party.” The governor noted that many families in places like England and America have lived and supported themselves through taxi system, because it is a profession that creates a very respectable status in the society.
“That is where we are moving. We are moving to respectability and profitability. It is a business model that will not die with you, it is a business that can be passed through generations because it is organized and regulated,” he said. According to him, the license, which has a flat value of N100,000 was issued free to all the operators.
It is not attached to the vehicle but to the owner and can be sold or used to borrow money like a land instrument as well as transferable to the owner’s children.
He appealed to Lagosians to refrain from patronizing unregistered taxi operators because, according to him, doing so amounts to putting oneself and wards in danger even as he disclosed that about 12, 617 drivers and 10,882 vehicles are now registered in the Ministry of transportation data base for the scheme.
While warning that there must not be illegal taxi operation in the state henceforth, he said anyone found to be operating illegally would be punished together with those who patronize them. The governor appealed to public transport operators, tricycles and mini bus operators to make judicious use of their horns.
Earlier, the commissioner of transportation, Comrade Kayode Opeifa, said beneficiaries of the license will paint their taxis with state colours to qualified as a mega taxi operators, while VIOs will start inspection of the vehicles from May 2016, and their air conditioners from the month of May 2017.
Opeifa also used the opportunity to launch the new road traffic signs, which were designed to boost the Lagos horn-free campaign instituted in October 15, 2014.
While disclosing that the signs are to be installed in major intersections, he said they are aimed at boosting the horn-free campaigns. Some of the horn-free zones include Zebra Crossing, Hospitals, Government Secretariat complex, Junctions, Libraries and Governor’s office area.