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Lagos begins issuance of new taxi/cab licences

By News Express on 24/04/2015

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The Lagos State Government on Thursday began the issuance of new licences to operators of taxis and cabs in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the licences, targeting no fewer than 14,000 registered operators, are being issued under the state's new transport policy.

Apart from conferring on operators the right to operate unhindered, the licence can also be used to take loans from the bank.

The document, which is transferable and sellable, has a flat value of N100,000 but was being issued free of charge.

Presenting the licences to operators in Ikeja, Gov. Babatunde Fashola said the taxi licensing  system was conceived out of the need to properly regulate the taxi business and attend to serious safety issues.

He said that cases of criminals using cabs to perpetrate serious crimes were rampant in recent times and the new licences were a step to check the problem.

Fashola said the licences, apart from restoring order to taxi operations, would also provide economic support to operators as the document could be sold or used to obtain loans from the banks.

“We need to be clear why we are issuing these licences. In many parts of the world where I have been, one of the safest places where you can find women, adults and children is the taxis.

“Once you enter a taxi in those parts of the world, you are safe. The reason is very simple: In all those places, those who run taxis are known people; they are professionals, they have identity, they cannot disappear.

“So if you are looking for a child and they say he entered taxi A or B, they will find the child because they know the driver, because they have the data of all operators.

“So, at this time of national and global security challenges, we cannot afford to be left behind, so we are issuing the licences not just for business, the most important part of it is safety.

“What this means is that if you enter a licenced taxi in the state, just know that you are safe and it also means patronising unregistered cabs means putting one's safety in jeopardy,” he said.

Fashola said the licences were necessarily carrying the pictures, names and addresses of holders for security considerations,” Fashola said.

He also said that the fingerprints of all carriers embossed on the licences were verifiable on the state’s database and were also means to respond to security issues.

The governor said the new taxi licensing system was to further boost the status of Lagos as an emerging model megacity where cabs run efficiently with minimal security concerns.

Highlighting the economic benefits of the new taxi policy system, the governor said the system sought to professionalise the business and make it more rewarding for operators.

He explained that the new licence could be used as collateral to obtain loans from the banks and negotiate vehicle prices.

The governor said that the new licence could be sold by holders for a good sum in the future as it would work as a document with an appreciating value.

He said the document was transferable as it could be inherited and used by the holders’ children.

Fashola said operators whose vehicles were not older than 12 years old and were in good condition were being issued the document

The Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Kayode Opeifa, said the licences were devised to revolutionise taxi business in the state.

Opeifa said the benefits of the licences were numerous to the state, the operators and the general public.

The commissioner said that the licencing meant more organisation, more confidence in the taxi system as well as better business for operators.

He explained that the document would not be issued three years after 2015, and that the essence was to create more value for the document.

“Under the new taxi policy, taxis are now allowed to carry adverts and they could wait at bus stops to take passengers unhindered,” he said.

He urged operators to tap the potential of the new taxi policy and licensing system to improve their businesses.

The President, Lagos State Taxi Driver/Cabs Operators Association, Mr Tajudeen Adetoro, thanked the government for the licensing initiative.

He urged the government to do its best to ensure that the promise that the licence would improve their businesses was fulfilled.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that new road signs designed by the state to ban horning in libraries, hospitals and areas close to important government buildings, were also unveiled at the occasion. (NAN)                                                                                      

•Photo shows Fashola

Source News Express

Posted 24/04/2015 06:12:29 AM


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