- Published: 11 May 2023
Lagos State continues to play the role of trail blazer in the country, and sometimes in the sub-continent. While the state is still under the blaze of its new train display, the Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, announced the delivery of a batch of electric trains, the first not only in the country but also in West Africa.
“I am excited to announce the first set of electric buses in the Lagos Mass Transit Master Plan as part of our increased effort to modernise every sector of Lagos. Thanks to our partnership with @Oando PLC, Lagosians can expect a cleaner and greener public transportation in Lagos State,” said Governor Sanwo-Olu.
This is a 21st century innovation that will not only ply the road for comfort but also disrupt the way we look at mobility in this part of the world.
“Our new electric buses will not only reduce carbon emissions but will also increase efficiency. This means that Lagosians can say goodbye to high fuel costs and hello to cost-efficient transportation,” Governor Sanwo-Olu explained.
The buses are charged and belong to a different breed and generation from the ones with which Lagosians are familiar in their great appetite for carbon as it guzzles much fuel and gushes fumes into the atmosphere.
Each bus has the power at full charge to travel for 280 kilometres. This is a great real estate to cover since the normal travel distance for the bus a day is 200 kilometres. It is not only a triumph for movement but of technology.
It shows what happens when governments work with companies to bring democratic dividends to the people. Also involved is the Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) that works with the Oando Clean Energy Limited to ensure its smooth running.
The company that brought the buses saw it as a watershed moment. The chief executive of Yutong West Africa, Frank Lee stated: “This is a watershed moment for Yutong. It’s our first delivery of electric mass transit buses in Sub-Saharan Africa and the first step in the large-scale deployment of an electric powered public road transport system in Nigeria.
The partnership is part of a vision that includes the electric buses, charging stations and other support infrastructure. Public malls and gas stations will host the charging points.
The state hopes to establish an assembly plant for electric buses with its implication for economies of scale and accessibility.
Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Frederic Oladeinde, says “a key component of this strategy was identifying and developing a more robust mass transit system for Lagos that would include rail and waterways amongst others. Using electricity to power mass transit is a step in the right direction, and from there we would gradually transit to private cars.”
It also eyes a net zero regime by 2060. This is the first in the country, which makes it a guinea pig project. But other states in the country should borrow a leaf from the Lagos experiment. Lagos is the most industrialised in the country, and it is now conscious of the global trend to decarbonise. That means improved air quality, better health for its citizens, a potential to employ 3,000 drivers and 2,000 other workers for maintenance, to manage depot. It is expected to cut costs for as much as $2.6 billion, 3.6 percent of the state’s GDP.
Lagos will see this as a phasing out of the present fuel guzzling buses and normalising a green transportation era.
Governor sanwo-Olu said it is part of the move to make Lagos a smart city. We agree.
Quelle/Source: The Nation, 04.05.2023