By Akeem Abas
Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, and Chief Adeniyi Adebayo, the Minister of Industry, Trades and Investment, on Thursday launched a new taxi hailing service Codenamed: “AFRICAR” in Ibadan.
The taxi hailing service was launched at a well-attended ceremony with 150 of the taxi.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the new taxi hailing service had already commenced operations in Ibadan with residents hailing the introduction and operations.
Makinde said that introduction of the taxi hailing service in Ibadan was in line with his administration’s goal of bringing investors into the state.
The governor, represented by his Chief of Staff, Segun Ogunwuyi, said that launching of AFRICAR in Ibadan, had attested to the business-friendly atmosphere provided by his administration for investors.
Makinde expressed delight for witnessing another demonstration of his administration’s commitment to make life comfortable for residents of the state.
“I am very delighted to be at the event of today, which is a further demonstration of our administration’s commitment to making life comfortable for our people.
“This will improve the socioeconomic activities of the citizenry and the state at large,” he said.
The governor said that transportation was evidently important for economic activity and social life in a state.
According to him, the current economic status of Oyo State is due to many factors, chief among which is the development and continuous improvement of our public transport system.
“The state has witnessed and still witnessing tremendous growth in the transport sector since the inception of this administration in the areas of transport infrastructure and procurement of vehicles for mass transit,” he said.
The governor said that his administration had purchased 109 buses for mass transit tagged: “Omituntun” Bus Mass Transit and constructed four Bus Terminals at Iwo Road, Challenge, as well as Ojoo.
He congratulated Stallion Group, owners of AFRICAR, expressing hope that the launch would birth more interesting fruits as they collaborate with his government for the wellbeing of the people.
In his remarks, the minister appreciated Stallion Group, a home-grown conglomerate, that has been adding value for the past 52 years.
The minister thanked Makinde for the welcoming environment provided to AFRICAR, adding AFRICAR’s platform would transform the transportation industry in the state, provide both employment opportunities and low-cost rides.
Commenting, Mr Sahil Vaswani, AFRICAR Chief Executive Officer, said all the cars used for the project were assembled in Lagos at Stallion Group’s Von Plant.
Vaswani said AFRICAR, in Partnership with the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), had developed the Bajaj Qute cars used for the new ride hailing taxi.
“This car is assembled in Nigeria by Nigerians and is environmentally friendly, with 50 per cent lower carbon emissions than the average car,” he said.