The General Manager of Uber West Africa, Lola Kassim and the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, have addressed the impact the operation of UberBOAT will have after the ride-hailing company makes its entry five months after Gokada’s GBoat began operation.
Nairametrics had reported that Uber diversified its business portfolio in Nigeria on Friday after it launched a water transportation business in partnership with Texas Connection Ferries. The partnership birthed UberBOAT in Lagos at a period the state’s road network is in a deplorable state.
[READ MORE: Uber is acquiring a grocery delivery startup]
Despite the expected competition between UberBOAT and GBoat, Kassim said the company was focused on providing commuters with an easy and affordable waterways transportation. UberBOAT currently offers a fixed price of N500 while that of GBoat is decided after booking the trip.
According to Kassim, several man hours and productivity have been lost on the Lagos road due to heavy traffic that each state governor in Lagos has been unable to resolve. The traffic has affected Lagos State financial-wise as companies like NASCON Allied Industries Plc and Honeywell Flourmills have relocated to other cities to avoid the costly traffic.
Dangote Group was also reportedly quoted to have disclosed that it records about N2 billion losses on a monthly basis due to traffic. But while this entry by UberBOAT can’t help lift the cost burden traffic places on companies, Kassim says Lagosians can now journey around the state faster, with less stress.
“We are piloting UberBOAT as a service that is focused on moving people from point A to point B via the Lagos waterways. In this phase, the service will be available between the Five Cowries and Ikorodu Jetties.”
Reducing cars on Lagos road
There have been talks that the number of cars on Lagos road is more than the size of the road. While the government has not been able to reduce the number of cars on the road, Kassim thinks UberBOAT can achieve it.
“We are aware of the man hours and productivity that are lost every day due to vehicular traffic in Lagos and are looking at ways to provide commuters with an easy and affordable way to get in and out of the city’s business districts. With UberBOAT, riders can leave their cars at home and instead utilise the waterways as a means of getting around faster and with less stress,” Kassim asserted.
Diversion of motorist
Meanwhile, Governor Sanwo-Olu, who recently declared a state of emergency on lagos road said the state government supported the innovation by UberBOAT because it would assist in reducing the road congestion by diverting Lagosians to the waterways.
“We collaborated with Uber because of the shared vision to utilise the waterways more as a means of decongesting the city. We remain excited at the prospect of scaling this initiative up and taking it further.”
Comrades in arms
Also speaking about the ride-hailing operation on Lagos waterways, Uber’s Country Manager for Nigeria Tayo Oyegunle, said both Uber and the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) have the same vision they intend to achieve, and combining their resources will enhance the chances.
“Over the last several years, we’ve built lasting partnerships with public transportation agencies around the world, because we understand how important it is to build on regulatory frameworks that modern cities provide.
“We believe our app can help the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA)’s vision to transform Lagos into a Model city with world class inland waterways infrastructure and services that help expand and improve access to urban mobility.”
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 22nd of October 2020, 138 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 61,805 confirmed cases.
On the 22nd of October 2020, 138 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 4,648 samples across the country.
To date, 61,805 cases have been confirmed, 56,985 cases have been discharged and 1,127 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 595,283 tests have been carried out as of October 22nd, 2020 compared to 590,635 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 22nd October 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 61,805
- Total Number Discharged – 56,985
- Total Deaths – 1,1127
- Total Tests Carried out – 595,283
According to the NCDC, the 138 new cases were reported from 13 states – Katsina (44), Lagos (35), Kwara (15), Kaduna (13), Plateau (7), Imo (6), Adamawa (5) Rivers (4), Yobe (3), Ogun (2), Oyo (2), Osun (1), FCT (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 20,768, followed by Abuja (5,944), Plateau (3,594), Oyo (3,423), Rivers (2,746), Edo (2,648), Kaduna (2,585), Ogun (1,989), Delta (1,812), Kano (1,741), Ondo (1,659), Enugu (1,314), Kwara (1,065), Ebonyi (1,049), Katsina (948), Osun (919), Abia (898), Gombe (883). Borno (745), and Bauchi (710).
Imo State has recorded 613 cases, Benue (484), Nasarawa (478), Bayelsa (403), Ekiti (329), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (277), Niger (274), Adamawa (257), Sokoto (162), Taraba (122), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Yobe (82), Zamfara (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Breaking: Senatorial, State House of Assembly bye-elections postponed – INEC
Senatorial and State House of Assembly bye-elections slated to hold on October 31 in 11 states have been postponed by INEC.
The 6 Senatorial and 9 State House of Assembly bye-elections slated to hold on October 31 in 11 states of the Federation has been postponed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The vacancies were as a result of death and resignation of previous members.
According to the statement issued by its National Commissioner & Chairman, Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye Esq., INEC said the decision was taken after meeting with the 37 Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) on Thursday.
— INEC Nigeria (@inecnigeria) October 22, 2020
Though the commission did not categorically state the reason for the postponement, feelers are that it may not be unconnected with the raging #EndSARS protests across the nation.
#EndSARS: President Buhari issues stern warning to hoodlums
The President has issued a warning to hoodlums who have hijacked the #EndSARS protest to promote unrest.
President Buhari, in his state of the Nation address to Nigerians this evening has warned hoodlums and the conflict entrepreneurs who have hijacked the #EndSARS protest to promote unrest.
The President explained that the choice to demonstrate peacefully is a fundamental right of citizens as enshrined in Section 40 of the Constitution and other enactments.
“I must warn those who have hijacked and misdirected the initial, genuine and well-intended protest of some of our youths in parts of the country, against the excesses of some members of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS),” he said.
President Muhammad Buhari frowned against the desperate and inhumane actions of mobsters, arsonists and hoodlums which has led to the loss of human lives, sexual violence, attacks on correctional facilities, as well as public and private properties which were completely destroyed or vandalized.
He explained that these bad actions will not be tolerated, as it is not in line with the legitimate expression of grievance of the youth of the country. He reiterated that the Government shall continue to ensure that liberty and freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens, are protected.
What you should know from the President’s State of the Nation address
The President reiterated that the government has the obligation to protect lives and properties, and ensure that the citizens go about their daily businesses freely and protected from acts of violence.
However, he appealed to protesters to note and take advantage of the various well-thought-out initiatives of this administration designed to make their lives better and more meaningful, and resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating our nascent democracy.
The President, however, warned the youth that doing otherwise will amount to undermining national security as well as law and order, which under no circumstances will be tolerated.
President Buhari thus called on the youths to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage the government in finding solutions, as their voices have been heard loud and clear.