Treepz Partners Sabinus On Campus Tours

Mohammed Shosanya

Treepz, Africa’s leading car rental and sharing marketplace,has announced partnership with Sabinus, Africa’s comedy giant, for a highly anticipated campus tour in three universities: UNIPORT, UNEC, and UNILAG this October.

The campus tour is scheduled to kick off from October 11th, 2023 to October 26th, 2023 and will be making stops at various campuses across Nigeria.

This remarkable event is expected to captivate university students and youths, promising unforgettable experiences for all in attendance,a statement said.

Onyeka Akuma, CEO and Co-Founder of Treepz expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership, stating:”We are delighted to partner with Sabinus, a dynamic influencer who shares our vision of creating memorable experiences for individuals. Students require hassle-free and reliable transportation options for different uses such as attending graduation ceremonies, tours and excursions and event attendance. With the largest selection of rental vehicles on our platform, we are committed to providing seamless, convenient, and cost-effective mobility solutions, empowering students to make the most of their university years and beyond.”

Nancy Nwachukwu, Director of Sponsorships and Partnerships at Sabinus Campus Tour,said:”Our collaboration with Treepz perfectly aligns with our mission to enhance campus life. By enhancing students’ access to reliable transportation, we aim to amplify their campus experiences, fostering lasting memories.”

This tour welcomes all university students from the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, the University of Lagos, and the University of Portharcourt to join in the excitement, promising endless fun and fantastic surprises.

According to a statement,participants can look forward to incredible prizes, including,gift vouchers of N20,000 with a validity of 1 year,10% discount on all car rentals using the code SABICA23, valid for 1 year and cash prizes.

FRSC Records Reduction In Fatalities,Road Crashes In First Half

Mohammed Shosanya

The Federal Road Safety Corps has recorded a decline in the total number of road traffic crashes, total number of injuries and fatalities as well in the first half of the year,compared with the same period in 2022.

Bisi Kazeem,Assistant Corps MarshalCorps Public Education Officer,FRSC Headquarters, Abuja,quoted in a statement that,within the period under consideration, the Corps recorded a total of 5,700 road traffic crashes as against 6,627 in the same period in the year 2022, representing 14% decrease.

It said,between January and June 2023, the Corps also achieved 14% reduction in number of people rescued with injuries, having rescued a total of 16,716 in 2023 against 19,440 injured victims in the first half of the year 2022.

The Corps also recorded significant reduction within the operational period in the number of people killed.

According to the statement,in the first six months of the year 2023, the Corps recorded a total of 2,850 fatalities as against 3,375 in the same period in 2022, representing 15.5% reduction.

The statement quoted the Corps Marshal to have attributed this modest achievement to a number of strategies and innovations in enforcement activities, improved presence and visibility, public enlightenment and partners engagement.

Charging drivers to desist from bad driving behaviours, Corps Marshal, Dauda Ali Biu re-emphasised the commitment of the Corps towards achieving it’s corporate mandate of sanitizing the highways and entrenching safety on the nations over 200,000 kilometers road network.

Fixit45 Gets $1.9m Pre-Seed Investment To Transform Africa’s Automotive Industry

Mohammed Shosanya

Fixit45, a leading player in the automotive technology aftermarket sector, proudly announces the successful conclusion of its pre-seed funding round, securing a substantial $1.9 million in equity and working capital.

The funding round was spearheaded by Launch Africa Ventures, Africa’s most active VC investment firm, and featured participation from distinguished investors such as Soumobroto Ganguly and Dave Delucia, along with a diverse group of angel investors.

This infusion of capital marks a significant milestone as Fixit45 sets out to expand its footprint and influence within Africa’s automotive aftermarket industry.

The company has earmarked these funds for strategic expansion plans, with a particular focus on its automotive repair business, while concurrently intensifying efforts in spare parts distribution via its online-to-offline platform, Additionally, Fixit45 is gearing up for market entry into East Africa, notably targeting Kenya and Uganda.

Pankaj Bohhra, Co-founder & COO of Fixit45, expressed his excitement about the financial support, stating, “This funding represents a pivotal moment for Fixit45. We are profoundly grateful to our investors for their faith in our vision and our unwavering commitment to revolutionizing the African automotive aftermarket sector. With this capital infusion, we are well-positioned to advance towards our expansion objectives.”

Enhancing the accessibility and availability of top-quality automotive spare parts is a central component of Fixit45’s expansion strategy.

The company seeks to optimize the supply chain, ensuring that both individual consumers and businesses within the automotive sector benefit from streamlined processes.
East Africa Market Entry

Fixit45’s expansion strategy encompasses East Africa, with a primary focus on penetrating markets in Kenya and Uganda.

With the region experiencing substantial growth in the automotive industry, Fixit45 is poised to establish a robust presence, providing essential auto services and spare parts to meet the evolving demands of local customers.

The participation of Launch Africa Ventures, Soumobroto Ganguly, Dave Delucia, and a diverse group of angel investors underscores their confidence in Fixit45’s business model and its potential for growth. These investors bring not only financial support but also invaluable expertise and networks that will further propel the company’s expansion endeavors.

Janade du Plessis and Zachariah George, Co-Managing Partners at Launch Africa Ventures, expressed their excitement about the partnership, stating:”We are thrilled to collaborate with Fixit45 in transforming the African automotive aftermarket. Fixit45 boasts a formidable team, and its platform offers a seamless experience across the automotive aftermarket value chain. We are impressed by their unwavering commitment to excellence, compliance, and accountability. We have every confidence that the company is well-prepared to achieve its ambitious goals.”

Fixit45’s triumphant pre-seed funding round marks a significant milestone in its journey.

Armed with a clear vision and a strategic allocation of resources, Fixit45 is poised to make a profound impact on the automotive aftermarket sector, ultimately benefiting customers not only in Nigeria but also in East Africa and beyond.

The escalating demand for quality automotive repair and maintenance services, driven by the aging vehicle fleet and road conditions in Nigeria, has spurred Fixit45, a tech-enabled automotive platform, to embark on a mission to redefine the automotive industry narrative.

Founded in 2021, Fixit45 boasts an impressive network of 300+ operational workshops spread across nine Nigerian cities, including Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Ilorin, Enugu, Owerri, and Jos, serving nearly 4,000 clients.

Besides,Fixit45 collaborates with 1,200 spare parts manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, forming partnerships with industry leaders such as Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, Ford, Jeep, Mitsubishi, Mikano, GAC Motors and many other prominent distributors.

The company also enjoys a solid customer base, including Mano, Drive45, Moove, Jotna, Gokada, FBN Quest, Jiji, Pepsico, Prestige Assurance and Chellerams Plc.

The African automotive industry was valued at US$ 30.44 billion in 2021 and is predicted to reach US$ 42.06 billion by 2027.

The automotive aftermarket industry plays a pivotal role in many African economies, contributing to economic growth, road safety improvement, and enhanced quality of life. Reliable mobility is a catalyst for social and economic inclusion, facilitating access to employment, education, and public services.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data, Nigeria, with an estimated population of 200 million, boasts over 12 million registered vehicles, of which 90% are imported and pre-owned, representing a motorization rate of just 0.06 vehicles per person.

The Nigerian automotive aftermarket industry remains fragmented, with informal service providers often lacking technical competence and warranty support for repairs.

With the escalating costs of purchasing new or foreign-used vehicles, a growing trend has emerged, with vehicle owners preferring to upgrade and repair their existing vehicles to enhance their mobility assets and trade-in value. This shift highlights the need for high-quality repair and maintenance services in the market.

FG Considers Electric Vehicles For Mass Transit Scheme

Mohammed Shosanya

The Federal Ministry of Transportation is considering the introduction of electric vehicles into the proposed mass transit scheme in the country on account of recent withdrawal of fuel subsidy.

The Minister of Transportation, Senator Said Ahmed Alkali,who disclosed this on Tuesday,when he resumed duty at the Ministry’s headquarter in Abuja,added that plans are underway to reintroduce mass transit system in Nigeria.

He promised to ensure a sustainable collaboration with related ministries, agencies and corporate entities to reactivate the road transport and mass transit operations in the country.

He explained that with the current hike of transportation fare in the country, the ministry focus would be on policies that will encourage reduction in the cost of movement for both passengers and cargo.

He said:”Similarly, I will under careful study of prevailing economic trends, undertake the provision, modernization, rehabilitation, planning and development of the rail transport sector with efficient security services to support the realization of primary purpose of government.

“This initiative will no doubt maximize the potentials embodied in the recent Constitutional alterations that moved rail transport services from the exclusive list to the concurrent list. It will also reduce the frequent menace on our roads characterized with accidents, kidnappings and armed robbery”.

He stated that the Ministry of Transport must assume a leading role of improving the public transportation sector to support the numerous policies that are geared towards providing democratic dividends that are accessible to ordinary Nigerians through effective provision of public transport that is secured, affordable and convenient across the country.

He added:”It is important to state that the Federal Ministry of Transportation remains among the few Ministries that were established and, continue in existence from colonial period to date with little modification of name given its strategic place as gateway to the nation’s economy.

“This might probably explains why the Ministry is undergoing restructuring in response to emerging national economic challenges that require the services of the Ministry” .

He pledged that his administration will strive to ensure the realization of ministry’s mandate and the mandates of agencies under its jurisdiction.

He added:”This endeavour will assist to harness the resources of the nation, promote national prosperity and dynamic self-reliant economy that will actualize the “Renewed Hope” of the present administration’s developmental agenda of ensuring an efficient transport system consistent with the socio-economic objectives of the constitution”.

Fire Risks:Hyundai,Kia Recall 91,000 US Vehicles

Mohammed Shosanya

Hyundai Motor and Kia are recalling more than 91,000 newer vehicles in the U.S. because of fire risks and urged owners to park outside and away from structures pending repairs.

The recall covers Hyundai 2023-2024 Palisade, 2023 Tucson, Sonata, Elantra, and Kona vehicles and 2023-2024 Seltos and 2023 Kia Soul, Sportage vehicles. About 52,000 Hyundai vehicles and nearly 40,000 Kia vehicles are covered under the recall,the automakers said on Thursday.

According to the Korean automakers, electronic controllers for the Idle Stop & Go oil pump assembly may contain damaged electrical components that can cause the pump to overheat. Owners will be notified in late September and dealers will inspect and replace the electric oil pump controller as needed.

Kia said it has six reports of potentially related thermal events but no accidents or injuries while Hyundai has four similar reports. The automakers told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration a suspect part was eliminated from production in March.

Uber Launches Emergency On-Trip Assistance, Audio Recording In Nigeria

Mohammed Shosanya

Uber has launched an emergency in-app support for drivers and riders in Nigeria in partnership with Sety, signalling improved commitment to leveraging technology to raise the bar on safety in the country

The company will soon launch Audio Recording in the country.

Speaking at its launch in Lagos, Tope Akinwumi, Country Manager for Uber in Nigeria, explained that safety is a core priority for the business.

He added:“Safety is at the heart of what we do at Uber and over the years, we have invested heavily in technology and other measures to help keep drivers and riders safe on the platform.

“Sety is proud to partner with Uber in Nigeria, in empowering riders and drivers with our on-trip emergency response service. Our collaboration with Uber underscores our shared commitment to prioritising and utilising digital technology to enhance safety of our customers and partners, thus ensuring the well-being of all Nigerians as a whole” says Nnamdi Melie, CEO, Sety.

According to him,riders and drivers can access the Safety Toolkit by tapping the shield icon on their app’s map screen.

He said:”After tapping the Emergency Assistance feature, you will see your GPS location, car make and model, and licence plate.If you tap the “Call Security” button and connect to a private emergency services and security responder, those trip details become available to them digitally and can be used to respond to an emergency.

“After your contact with the emergency services, Uber’s customer support team will check in to see if you’re alright”

Uber will soon launch audio recording which allows riders and drivers to use the app to record and share audio of their trip as evidence in the case of a safety incident – something that drivers have been asking for based on their feedback from roundtable sessions.

The new opt-in audio recording feature has been successful in South Africa where over 3 400 drivers and 80 000 riders who use the Uber app set up the feature during the pilot period.

Uber believes the new audio recording feature will improve the overall quality of evidence collected on the safety incidents that are reported by both riders and drivers.

This means that both riders and drivers will have the ability to record the trip and submit their recordings alongside the safety tickets they’ll submit. By logging a safety incident along with a recording, the rider or driver gives Uber permission to access the file for investigation purposes.

“We are putting safety at the heart of everything we do and always looking at ways to improve safety on the platform. Not only are we passionate about helping people travel from point A to B, we are committed to being a leading safety innovator, using new technology to improve safety standards for all riders and drivers operating on our platform”, added Akinwumi.

Nairaxi Unveils Tech Solutions To Cushion Effects Of Fuel Subsidy Removal

Mohammed Shosanya

A tech-driven mobility company, NAIRAXI and its partner Firstplus have unveiled a digital system to support mass transportation in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in order to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal.

The company,in a statement said fuel subsidy removal has been the third rail of Nigerian politics since subsidies were introduced in the 1970s

To lessen the pains of fuel subsidy removal, NAIRAXI and its partners Firstplus maintained that the private sector-driven approach to digitalise mass transit systems is vital in cushioning the sufferings and challenges of transportation within Nigeria.

At the unveiling ceremony, Yusuf Umar, Chairman of Firstplus, explained that the ongoing plans to work with FCT Administration would help to alleviate and soften the impacts of the fuel subsidy on Nigerians.

According to him, the mass transit scheme would be beneficial to Nigerians as it would change the transportation landscape.

Also speaking,Kingsley Eze, co-founder, explained that the initiative would enhance access to affordable transport services.

“The initiative provides a sustainable platform through which mass Transportation can be effectively subsidized by governments and yet create huge revenue. The Automated Fare Collection system of NAIRAXI allows the convenient use of contactless smart cards as cashless payment instruments in public transportation modes,” he said.

He maintained that the initiative provides a sustainable platform through which mass transportation can be effectively subsidized by governments and yet create huge revenue.

“The automated Fare Collection system of NAIRAXI allows the convenient use of contactless smart cards as cashless payment instruments in public transportation modes,” he said.

According to him, NAIRAXI is partnering with other road transport operators, alongside state governments to introduce technology into our mass transit systems. It has adopted technology to ensure effective payment systems, proper accessibility, ease of payment, automated fare collection, security and monitoring for sustainable management.

He added that these initiatives will curb the corruption and fraudulent activities in fare collection through the implementation of the Auto -fare collection system (AFCS) and user smart card (USC) as they are designed to track transaction and payment history.

Speaking on the benefits of the Initiatives, NAIRAXI boss explained that it would provide customized electronic transit cards and subsidise mass transportation on behalf of the government to ameliorate the harsh economic conditions experienced by the masses due to the removal of fuel subsidies.

Mohammed Shosanya

A firm, Possible EVS, is set to launch Nigeria’s first fleet of electric taxis with an initial fleet of 30 units in a groundbreaking move towards sustainable and eco-friendly transportation in Nigeria.

A statement issued by the company on Friday in Abuja,disclosed that the firm plans to expand to over 200 electric taxis across major Nigerian cities by mid-2024, thereby revolutionizing public transportation in the country.

These electric taxis, specially designed for passenger transport, will provide last-mile solutions for both intra- and inter-city trips, offering a convenient and environmentally conscious alternative for commuters,the statement said.

According to the statement,the fleet will also introduce shared travel options, ensuring cost-effective and efficient mobility for passengers without the hassle of surge pricing.

It added:”Unlike traditional combustion engine taxis, electric taxis emit zero emissions, which contributes to a cleaner and greener urban environment. The introduction of electric taxis aligns with the global shift towards sustainable mobility solutions, addressing the pressing challenges of climate change and air pollution.

“Possible EVS’s electric taxi fleet aims to complement existing transportation services in Nigeria, rather than compete against them.By providing a more environmentally friendly alternative, the startup aims to raise awareness about the benefits of electric vehicles and encourage the adoption of sustainable transportation practices in the country.”

Shedding light on the new initiative in Nigeria, Mr. Mosope Olaosebikan, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Possible EVS,said said socially responsible organisation,the company was excited to lead this transformative journey.

According to him,the company’s pioneering efforts will inspire other players in the transportation industry to embrace sustainable practices and contribute to a cleaner, greener, and more prosperous Nigeria.

He said,Possible EVS will establish charging stations across Abuja, serving as a pilot programme for future expansion in order to support the operation of the electric cars.

These charging stations, according to the statement, will ensure that the electric taxis have access to reliable and convenient charging infrastructure, enabling seamless operations and reducing any concerns about range anxiety.

“With the introduction of Nigeria’s first electric taxi fleet, Possible EVS sets a promising example for the nation and the African continent as a whole, demonstrating the feasibility and benefits of electric mobility.

He added:”As the fleet expands and more electric taxis hit the streets, Nigeria’s urban areas will witness a positive transformation in terms of reduced emissions, improved air quality, and enhanced passenger experiences.

“Possible EVS’s electric taxi initiative not only contributes to Nigeria’s sustainable development goals but also aligns with global efforts to combat climate change and create a more sustainable future for all.

“As the nation embraces electric mobility, Possible EVS leads the way in driving the transition toward a cleaner and greener transportation ecosystem.Nigerians can look forward to a seamless and comfortable commuting experience”, said Mosope.

“Our vehicles are equipped with state-of-the-art features, including spacious interiors, advanced safety systems, and user-friendly technology, and our plans to install fast-charging infrastructure across key locations will ensure convenient access to charging stations and minimize any concerns about range anxiety”

Oando, LAMATA’s Electric Mass Transit Buses Begin Operations In Lagos

Mohammed Shosanya

Oando Clean Energy Limited (OCEL),the renewable energy subsidiary of Oando,in partnership with Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA),Tuesday marked the formal commencement of operations of its electric mass transit buses
in Lagos.

The launch of initiative which held at the Lagos Bus Services Limited Head Office in Ilupeju,Lagos,is aimed at transitioning the Lagos State public transport system through the development of a pathway to a carbon free mobility ecosystem in the state.

Speaking at the launch,the Managing Director of LAMATA, Engr. Abinbola Akinajo emphasized the import of Public-Private-Partnerships

This initiative,Akinajo said is a major aspect of our vision for transportation in Lagos State,adding that the company is desirous of having a clean and efficient transportation system.

He said:”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.”

The Commissioner for Energy & Mineral Resources, Lagos State, Engineer Olalere Odusote who was also at the event in his remarks said; “We had identified transportation as a major cause of pollutants and health problems in the State. For us, this initiative is another step we’re taking as a Government to ensure we clean up the environment in addition to ongoing initiatives in the energy sector.”

President/CEO of OCEL, Dr. Ainojie ‘Alex’ Irune, advocated urgent need for electric vehicles to address transportation’s 62% contribution to Nigeria’s GHG emissions.

He said:“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.”

He also said that the company is committed to the success of this initiative and plans to expand its services through partnerships with leading players in the global renewable energy space .

He added:“We believe that these electric vehicles have the potential to transform the transportation sector in Nigeria and provide a sustainable solution for the country’s growing population.”

The Commissioner of Transport, Lagos State, Dr. Frederic Oladeiende who was there representing the Governor of Lagos State Mr. Babajide Sanwo-olu said 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.

He also said,ghis situation has given rise to affirmative actions by world leaders and environmentalists to act fast to save our world.

He added:”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.”

The roll-out of the electric buses starts with a three-month proof-of-concept phase, aimed at establishing the viability of electric vehicles for mass transportation in Lagos State, and to derive key learnings for an expanded program across the country.

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.

To support the seamless running of the buses OCEL has invested and deployed charging stations in bus depots to ensure the buses are always fully charged. Furthermore, extensive training has been provided to the drivers on the proper use and maintenance of the buses.

This project exemplifies Oando’s commitment to supporting Nigeria in achieving her ambitious goal of becoming net-zero by 2060, and indeed Lagos State’s commitment to net-zero by 2050. Through its strategic partnership with LAMATA, the company is actively contributing to the development of a robust EV infrastructure ecosystem in Lagos State and further underscores the importance of public and private sector partnerships in achieving being a carbon neutral Nation.

‘Poor Power Supply, Insecurity Bane Of Nigeria’s Auto Industry’

Mohammed Shosanya

Lack of stable electricity supply, and insecurity are among the hurdles militating against effective operations of automobile assembly plants in Nigeria, Chief Diana Chen, the Chairman of CIG Motors Co. Limited,has said.

She spoke on Tuesday at the official opening of Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) Motor Abuja G-Style Showroom and the unveiling of all new GS8 premium SUV in the Federal Capital Territory FCT Abuja.

She implored the coming administration to tackle security for Nigeria to harness it’s potentials with respect to growth in the auto industry.

She added:”Power stability is one challenge, Without stable electricity supply it is difficult to have manufacturing here, another one is security issue” .

She said that GAC Motor is willing and ready to work with government at all levels to rebuild the capabilities of the youth population towards becoming well trained, skilled, and technical people especially in the area of automobile industry.

Nigeria boasts of great potentials both in the economic and auto market growth across Africa,she said,adding that the GAC Motor expects to grab more market share with its assembly plant in Lagos.

She implored the Federal Government to develop policies that encourage Nigerians to purchase brand new vehicles rather than the current reliance on imported fairly used ones, adding that such a policy would boost investment in assembling plants that would in turn create jobs and wealth for the country.

According to her, the company was already in partnership with four banks in the country that allows customers to purchase its cars while paying back in monthly installments.

“GAC Motor Nigeria is committed to building and developing the future of the automobile industry in Nigeria, and believes that collaboration with the Federal Government is key to achieving this goal”, she stated.

She also assured Nigerians of the company’s commitment to supporting Nigeria’s football national teams and the creative sector.