Oando Clean Energy Limited and Lagos State have announced that they have taken delivery of electric mass transit buses to kick off a sustainable road transport system in the state.
According to Oando, this is in furtherance of a 2022 Memorandum of Understanding it signed with Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority to enable the successful deployment of an Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Ecosystem (electric buses, charging stations, and other supporting infrastructure) in the state.
It stated that the MoU was signed to bridge the gap in the state’s current mass transit bus system and cater to the increasing number of commuters in the state.
Oando revealed that it partnered with Yutong Bus Co Limited to produce electric buses for the state. It noted that in addition to the arrival of the electric buses, it has also taken delivery of the charging stations and spare parts necessary to ensure their effective operation.
In a statement, the firm said, “Consequently, and 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 our 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.”
The firm highlighted that in the medium to long term, the initiative will employ at least 3,000 new drivers, and 2,000 workers to support bus maintenance, and depot management, and has an estimated economic cost savings of $2.6bn (3.6 percent of Lagos’s GDP).
Commenting, the Managing Director, of Yutong West Africa, Mr Frank Lee, said, “This is a watershed moment for Yutong.
“It is 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.
“We are excited to be embarking on this journey in partnership with Oando, an organization with a history of stellar performance in the energy sector, and are hopeful to see a quick turnaround in our joint plans to advance all facets of the country’s transition to eco-friendly vehicles, including the development of local capacity through the delivery of, and exposure to extensive training programs for all stakeholders, from drivers to operators and the regulators.”
The Managing Director of LAMATA, Mrs Abimbola Akinajo stated, “The arrival of the electric buses confirms Lagos State Government’s commitment to the reduction of greenhouse gas effects, using modern rolling stock, powered by clean energy, in the State’s transport operations.”
The Chairman, of OCEL, Adewale Tinubu, added, “Audacity and innovation have always been key tenets in our journey to transform Nigeria’s energy future.
“It is this spirit that has brought us to this juncture today – at the forefront of propelling Nigeria towards realizing her net-zero targets. The arrival of our electric mass transit buses and development of an EV infrastructure ecosystem is a reminder that the only way to remain ahead of the curve is by being unafraid to break new ground and consistently looking for opportunities to leapfrog.”