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Lagos introduces new policy for taxi drivers



TO revolutionise taxi and cab business in Lagos, the state government has introduced a new taxi policy for taxi and cab operators to make it a profitable venture.

 To ensure easy take- off of the policy, Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) and the state Commissioner of Transportation, Kayode Opeifa, recently held a stakeholders’ meeting with all Lagos State Taxi and Cab operators (Yellow and Modern) at Blue Roof Event Centre, Agidingbi, Ikeja.

 The meeting which was attended by hundreds of taxi drivers and Chairman, Lagos State House Committee on Transportation, Bisi Yusuf,  was  held at the behest of the state  Ministry of Transportation. 

   It  was  aimed at resolving grey areas with stakeholders before the take-off of the policy.

  According to Opeifa, the new taxi policy was an offshoot of the state’s executive meeting held on July 25, 2013, where the Mile-to-Mile transport system was reviewed.

 Under the new taxi policy, the commissioner said   all taxi and cab operators in the state were expected to take universal licence that would give them the right to operate in the state.

  He stressed that the meeting was part of the ongoing consultations with stakeholders on areas they might have difficulties since no taxi or cab operator would be allowed to operate without a licence.

 The new policy, Opeifa said, would transform taxi business in the state  into wealth creating venture, as many companies were willing to participate by providing fleets of new cars,

 He stressed further that the state government would create new parking spaces for taxi operators in major intersections in the state.

  Fashola, who was fascinated with taxi and cab operators in the state for their cooperation with his government, urged them to subscribe to the universal licence scheme being put in place by the government to ensure profitability and respect.

 The governor promised to reduce the entry age of the taxis in the state from five to 12 years with a caveat that the cars must be certified road-worthy by the relevant authority.

The reduction, the governor said, was based on the economic realities of the time occasioned by rising rate of foreign exchange which, he said, had priced a new car out of the reach of an average taxi operator.

  Earlier, officials of the taxi car operators in the state, Saka Ayinde and 0tunba Olatunji Odujobi had stressed some of the challenges faced by taxi operators in the state. 

 The problems, they said, included harassments by officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs).

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