This part of LagosRide launch was quite a humbling experience..., my speech, it is the summary of a journey of resilience...
Mr Governor, Mr Deputy Governor, cabinet members present…, please permit me to stand on existing protocol.
Once upon a time, a young chap visited the city of Lagos for the first time, it was year 2005. I took a cab from Mende, Maryland to Ikeja and had to pay N1000. To put this in perspective, my annual tuition fee as a civil engineering undergraduate in FUTA (The Federal University of Technology, Akure) was about N7000, my secondary school fees per term in a private school by the way, was about N3,500 and more importantly that same trip would have cost me N30 in Akure where I was coming from.
On the bus trip back to Akure, my mind kept racing as it could not accept the reality of paying N1000 for a 15mins trip, also note my bus fare from Lagos back to Akure was about N1200, a 3hrs 30mins trip. Like every dreamer, I thought to myself, one day I will solve this puzzle. It felt like a pipe dream as I had no line of sight of entry into the city. Back then, moving to Lagos was the dream and I bet is still a dream for a lot of young people. Today, I am a proud testimony of the infectious spirit of Lagos, the land where pipe dreams become realities.
This is Lagos, the city that attracted over a billion dollars investment in about 120 deals last year, to fund dreams of young audacious Lagosians, unlocking opportunities across multiple sectors driven by technology. We are no longer waiting for others to help us solve our problems, we are taking the bull by the horn and not looking back.
This administration has been exceptional in its business, the outcomes we see and benefits we enjoy as Lagosians today is evidence of the cerebral capacities on the table among our people led by Mr Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo Olu and the deliberate intention to achieve a greater Lagos. It is important to note the following:
1. No player in this sector, (Uber, Bolt) entered the market with a fleet size of 1000 brand new cars. This audacious move is the 1st in Nigeria, in Africa and I dare say globally.
2. Our proprietary rideshare technology which allow riders with similar transit pattern come together and share the cost of a ride is completely built locally and the first to be deployed at scale. Our drivers are now going to earn more money for every kilometer of ride they fulfil.
This solution can potentially reduce traffic congestion on our roads, as more Lagosians can comfortably leave their cars at home and pay less as they join others to commute daily.
3. LagosRide is fully integrated to a security command center, comprising dashcams that will give us live audio and video feeds of any of our cars remotely; also 2 panic buttons, one on the mobile app of the driver and rider and the other a physical one that can be reached by everyone in the car in an emergency. If in an emergency, simply click any of the panic buttons, an immediate threat assessment is carried out and if required your location and details will be dispatched to the nearest security/emergency service closest to you. Lagosride is the first to do this
4. Nobody understands rush hour like the Lagos worker, so we built a feature that allows our workers input their preferred daily pick up time from home to work and back; they will receive a notification 15 minutes before that time to confirm their trip and a LagosRide will arrive. This is also a first.
5. Our drivers are so dear to us, not only did we provide a safer environment for them to fulfil service, but we are also providing insurance cover for loss of life and accidents, health insurance that covers them and their family, we have also automated their maintenance service system and removed that burden from them. Let it be on record that we are the first to prioritize driver’s welfare.
I would like to appreciate Mr Governor and his team for allowing a big dream come true, your visionary leadership has yielded this significant historic milestone. It is for the uniqueness of your leadership that Lagos continues to lead Africa in technology. It is because of your style, faith in and love for the youth, that technology in Lagos now contributes 3% to Lagos GDP ahead of its African peers that average 1%. Mr. Governor, you have continued to live up to your electoral promise of using local technology solutions to solve the Lagos challenge, trusting you and your government has never been in vain. We also acknowledge the rigorous work of the steering committee led by the Honorable Commissioner of Transportation, Dr Fredrick Oladeinde who provided a level playing field that ensured a best in class local technology solution drive the LagosRide project and the extremely supportive and collaborative team at Ibile holdings. To the Zeno team and its advisers, thank you for punching away at your keyboards, thank you for the late-night meetings and showing up at stand ups at odd hours, the dream we once shared is now a reality.
More importantly thank God for a time as this, the call to participate in our own development as a people has never been louder and Lagos no dey carry last, welcome to Lagos Ride, a service built for Lagosians by Lagosians.
Igbega ipinle eko, ajumo se wa ni