Oando kicks-off Sustainable Transport Initiative in Lagos State with launch of Electric-Mass Transit buses


May 25, 2023.

Azonuchechi Chukwu.

Oando Clean Energy Limited (OCEL) has achieved a groundbreaking milestone with the launch of the first phase of its Sustainable Transport Initiative for Lagos State. The initiative will see OCEL introducing electric buses to LAMATA’s current fleet of buses. The endeavor aims to support the transformation of the State’s public transport system through the development and deployment of a pathway to a carbon free mobility ecosystem within the State.

The roll-out of the electric buses kicks off with a three-month Proof-Of-Concept (PoC) phase, aimed at establishing the viability of electric vehicles for mass transportation in Lagos State. This will be followed by a Pilot phase with an expanded fleet and bus routes, and the eventual countrywide deployment creating employment for over 30,000 Nigerians.

The event births the commissioning of the PoC and in her opening remarks, the Managing Director LAMATA Engr. Abimbola Akinoja said “This initiative is a major aspect of our vision for transportation in Lagos State, we are desirous of having a clean and efficient transportation system. Today’s event is proof of our desire to involve the private sector in our activities to give the average Lagosian the ability to meet their mobility needs. LAMATA is a multi-fuel transport regulatory agency for Lagos hence the partnership with OCEL for the use of EV buses in passenger operations. From LAMATA’s perspective we are open to do business with the private sector whilst ensuring that these partners are aligned with the vision of Lagos state. I am elated that in just over a year that Oando Clean Energy came to us to discuss the possibility of working with us in the deployment of electric buses we have signed an MoU with a key deliverable being the implementation of a PoC that would allow us finally include electric buses in our ecosystem.” Our partnerships to support this ecosystem has seen us collaborate with the world’s leading companies to drive the production of buses that have zero tail pipe emissions, regenerative braking systems as well as reliable and robust battery and motor systems to navigate difficult terrains and traffic conditions. To ensure seamless operations, the company has installed charging stations at each bus depot that guarantee the buses get a full charge every day. In addition, and in collaboration with our partners, all the drivers have been extensively trained on the proper use and maintenance of these buses.

Also in attendance at the commissioning event was the Honorable Commissioner for Energy & Mineral Resources, Engr. Olalere Odusote, who in his goodwill message commended the deployment of the EV buses for passenger operations, saying that it would have salutary effects on the state’s ecosystem as well as the health of the people. He said “Lagos sits on less than 0.4% of Nigeria’s landmass but plays host to 12% of Nigerians; that should tell you that this is indeed a crowded city, it is also the smallest state in Nigeria, yet the most populous. A lot of the problems we have today are due to the poor environment. Research shows that a large majority of the presentations to hospitals across the State are for respiratory illnesses, meaning they are breathing significant amounts of polluted air with direct and indirect losses to the State as a result of missed worked days, lost earnings, hospital bills to name a few. This is yet another step we’re taking as a Government to ensure we clean up the environment, and in addition to the other positive steps being taken in the electricity sector.”.

Other high-level attendees at the event included HRM Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, CFR, Chairman Oando PLC, Alake of Egbaland; Mr. Ademola Akinrele (SAN), Non-Executive Director Oando PLC; Mrs. Ronke Sokefun, Non- Executive Director Oando PLC; Mr. Guo Pengwen, Head of Commercial Office, Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Lagos; Mr. Idowu Oguntona Managing Director LBSL who gave the vote of thanks as well as Mr. Fola Tinubu Managing Director Primero TSL.

In recognition of the urgent need for electric vehicles to address transportation’s 62% contribution to Nigeria’s GHG emissions, the President/CEO of OCEL, Dr. Ainojie ‘Alex’ Irune commented; “This is an opportunity for us to revolutionize mobility in our country as well as build local capacity for the renewable and clean energy ecosystem. Whilst today these buses have come from across the world, in the very near future they will be produced here in Nigeria. In the very near future, we will have a multitude of locally trained engineers who are capable of operating, maintaining, and servicing these buses and other renewable energy assets. We see these buses as a first step. This PoC facilitates the collection of the first sets of data points to support the development and deployment of EV for municipal and public transport on the continent. Our ambition together with Lagos state, is to set our sights on the future and chart a path for others to follow. We have worked tirelessly to get here, and we are confident that the steps we are taking, which I must reiterate would not have been possible without the support of Lagos state, LAMATA, LBSL, Primero, and His Excellency, the Governor, who saw the vision and imperative of committing to this journey.”

His Excellency the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu was ably represented at the event by the Honorable Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, who noted; “We are here today to write the script for a new future. Climate change refers to a long-term shift in temperature and weather patterns and it’s something we have been experiencing in Lagos and Nigeria recently. Such shifts can be due to natural causes such as changes in the activities of the sun or large volcanic eruptions or they can be caused by human activities. Today, there is abundant evidence that shows that human activities have been the main drivers of climate change primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas. This situation has given rise to affirmative actions by world leaders and environmentalists to act fast to save our world. Lagos is the only state in Nigeria that has prepared and initiated the execution of a climate action plan. The plan outlines 26 efforts covering adaptation and mitigation actions to build a sustainable low carbon economy in the pursuit of achieving net zero emissions by 2050, 10 years ahead of the Federal Government’s target of 2060.”

The Sustainable Transport initiative exemplifies OCEL’s commitment to driving economic growth while preserving our environment for the long term, specifically supporting Nigeria in achieving her ambitious goal of becoming net-zero by 2060. Oando’s history is marked by a spirit of partnership – these partnerships have been the cornerstone of our success, enabling us to leverage expertise, resources, and networks to drive sustainable development. Through these collaborations, we have demonstrated that the private sector can be a catalyst for change, creating innovative solutions that address the challenges of our time. Our goal is to utilize this strategic partnership with LAMATA to contribute both to the development of a robust EV ecosystem in Lagos State as well as the achievement of her sustainable goals.

About OCEL:

OCEL is the renewable energy business subsidiary of Oando Energy Resources, a part of the Oando PLC group of companies. Headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, the company’s agenda is to invest in climate friendly and bankable energy solutions across the African continent.

OCEL’s core areas of interest include Sustainable Transport, Solar Energy Solutions, Gas & Biofuels, Waste to Energy, Wind Farms, Geothermal Power Plants, Hydro Energy and other emerging technologies.(www.naija247news.com).

Azonuchechi Chukwu
Azonuchechi Chukwuhttp://Naija247News.com
Ms Azonuchechi Chukwu has a BSC holder in mass communication Ebonyi State University

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