History was recorded on Tuesday May 22, 2023, in Nigeria as Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, officially unveiled Nigeria’s First Electric Vehicle Transport System.
The event provided the Governor the opportunity to enumerate his green energy plan to decarbonise key sectors of the economy whose activities adds to air pollution.
Sanwo-Olu, before formally cutting the tape to launch the project first restated commitment of the Government to significantly reduce carbon emissions across key sectors of the economy so as to improve business ecosystems and quality air in the environment.
The Governor said the State is currently working with the World Bank, to enhance e-mobility system and improve the transport sub sector of the economy.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony for Sustainable Transport Initiative for Lagos State, on Tuesday, Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Commissioner for Transport Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, said that in its desire to improve air quality and advance investment in the clean energy space, his administration in 2020 launched the Climate Action Initiative which culminated in the initiation of strategic climate change action plan to achieve low carbon economy by 2050.
The Governor, explained that the launching of the Electric Vehicle is one among numerous steps towards creating sustainable path on green economy and providing the necessary opportunities for clean energy revolution.
He further explained that under the initiative, Oando Clean Energy Limited’s, OCEL, is collaborating with the State Government through the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, LAMATA, with the acquisition of the electric mass transit buses that will kick off the Proof of Concept phase of its Sustainable Transport Initiative.
He said the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, between the OCEL and LAMATA, will enable the successful deployment of an Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Ecosystem (electric buses, charging stations, and other supporting infrastructure) towards the attainment of a sustainable road transport system in Lagos State.
The MoU intends also to bridge the gap in the current mass transit bus system for the increasing number of Lagos commuters and make up a significant part of the State Government’s larger drive to improve mass transit infrastructure.
Speaking earlier, Commercial Consular, of the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria, Guo Pengwen, said China is ready to support Nigeria’s drive towards transiting to new energy with reliable and affordable technology support system.
Pengwen, said the partnership with Yutong Bus Co Limited, the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer to produce the electric buses, equipped with air conditioning and Wi-Fi, will help in the transformation of the transport system in the State.
He said Lagos with population of about 20 million people currently suffers air pollution mostly coming from the transport sector, and therefore encourage the Government to provide leadership by investing in the Electric Vehicle initiative.
Dr. Alex Irune, president and Chief Executive Officer, OCEL, said the firm has taken delivery of the charging stations and spare parts necessary to ensure their effective operation.
He said that in line with the provisions of the partnership between OCEL and LAMATA, the receipt of both the buses and charging stations marks the commencement of its Sustainable Transport Initiative, which is one of the Company’s pipeline projects to support Nigeria in meeting her goal of net zero by 2060.
The Company’s strategic vision is to decarbonize the transport system in Nigeria and in the process, strengthen the socio-economic impact of transportation within the country. Over the next seven years, and through the rollout of over 12,000 buses, this initiative will transition the current combustion mass transit buses to electric, starting in Lagos State and eventually across the country.
In the medium to long term, and in line with its ambitions, its efforts within sustainable transport will lead to improved air quality, enhanced public health, enable the employment of at least 3,000 new drivers and an additional 2,000 workers to support bus maintenance, depot management, etc. as well as estimated economic cost savings of US$2.6bn (3.6% of Lagos’s GDP).
Notably, the company’s EV roll-out plan is strategically aligned with the Nigeria Energy Transition Plan (NETP); specifically supporting the Government’s roadmap for EV implementation across Nigeria and its ambition to boost local capacity in the medium term through the construction of EV assembly plants.
The Oando -Yutong Joint Venture Partnership would lead to the manufacture and deployment of additional electric buses during the Pilot and Roll-out phases of the partnership with Lagos State through LAMATA, design and facilitate training programs targeted at the following critical stakeholders bus drivers, bus operators, and regulators including but not limited to LAMATA and the Ministry of Transport.
It will also provide technical support and after-sales service, manage a supply chain network to support the availability of spare parts as and when required as well as the construction of a local EV assembly plant to boost indigenous capacity.