The Lagos State Taxi Drivers and Taxi Operators Association has implored the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to help them with a discount to be able to purchase the state-owned taxis of N9million that his administration brought in weeks ago to phase out conventional taxis. .
The Lagos State Government brought 1,000 new vehicles for taxis worth N9 million each and in mid-February held a road show with the new vehicles from Ajah to areas of the state’s third mainland bridge.
But speaking to SaharaReporters, the taxi drivers’ association said the state government should not push its members into unemployment, while calling on Sanwo-Olu to give them a 50% discount or participation 5% on vehicles.
LSTDCOA Secretary Taiwo Omolekan told SaharaReporters that its more than 12,000 members are ready to adopt the new Lagos Taxi E-haling route, but the state government should help its financially disabled members on contribution to the capital.
He said: “The yellow cabs are the pride of Lagos and we are the heritage of Lagos, they shouldn’t let us down. The government should give us a 50% discount on the new taxi. We are not asking too much. The Borno State government has done the same by giving a 50% discount on new imported taxis. Lagos can do better; Lagos is big and vibrant.
“On the capital contribution, we should contribute 5% instead of 10%. We have a membership strength of 12,000 members. So the 1,000 new taxis that the state government has put in place are not even enough to go around our members, but we don’t have that money. We can’t afford N9million. We don’t have the financial muscle.
“So this is what we are asking the state government to do; either 50% discount, or 5% capital. The new taxis didn’t start running, they just did a road show; from Ajah to the third continental bridge. The state government still insists on 10% for taxi drivers.
Earlier in a statement signed by its chairman, Omolekan Taiwo, LSTDCOA called on the governor and his cabinet to come to its rescue as most of its members’ vehicles were old and needed replacing.
“Former Lagos State Governor Mr. Raji Fashola has already done this for the association and we did not disappoint him through Union Bank and First Bank to the tune of N1 billion so we are calling the current government to come to our aid as well.
“Our yellow taxis are reliable and safety conscious. We have our association sticker on the windshield of our bona fide members and they have their identity card with them which is traceable in the association database.
“The yellow cabs are being targeted by vehicle inspection officers, LASTMA, Lagos State task force officials and other law enforcement agencies, even though the yellow cabs get nine details ; body tag and driver badge, vehicle document i.e. vehicle license, hackney license, roadworthiness test, insurance, driver’s license and LASDRI. Yet they are the target of law enforcement.
Despite the problems, he said the association has been able to have its own online calling applications called “Baba Dey Online” by Univasa, which can be accessed on the Google Playstore on the Internet.
He said it should rather be noted that most yellow taxi drivers are not criminals, but honest members of society, who are legitimately willing to do their business in accordance with stipulated laws and regulations.