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EKITI STATE PARTNERS WITH MAX.NG TO TRANSFORM OKADA INDUSTRY WITH METROGOV

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There are millions of informal motorcycle and transport operators in Nigeria. Many of them are unlicensed, have no identity data and are often used as agents for anonymous crimes. This poses serious security and safety concerns to the general public.
However, informal motorcycle operators provide essential transportation services to millions of Nigerians. It is therefore important to properly organize this industry for the safety of citizens and to create decent working conditions for the operators.

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EKITI STATE PARTNERS WITH MAX.NG TO TRANSFORM OKADA INDUSTRY WITH METROGOV

  1. 1. EKITI STATE PARTNERS WITH MAX.NG TO TRANSFORM OKADA INDUSTRY WITH METROGOV Ekiti State, Nigeria. August 24, 2020: =Start= There are millions of informal motorcycle and transport operators in Nigeria. Many of them are unlicensed, have no identity data and are often used as agents for anonymous crimes. This poses serious security and safety concerns to the general public. However, informal motorcycle operators provide essential transportation services to millions of Nigerians. It is therefore important to properly organize this industry for the safety of citizens and to create decent working conditions for the operators. The Ekiti State Government is desirous of tackling this security and safety challenge and has entered into a partnership with Metro Africa Xpress (MAX), a leading mobility and financial services platform focused on Nigeria and West Africa, to transform informal motorcycle transportation (also called “Okada”) in the state. The State has partnered with MAX to deploy MetroGov, a next-generation mobility platform that provides identity management technology and uses transport data to provide financial services to transport operators. Ekiti State is taking the lead in digitizing informal transportation. The State has an estimated population of 3 million people and over 100,000 motorcycle and tricycle operators across the state. As part of the recently launched Ekiti State Mobility Transformation Project (ESMOT), the state aims to formalise the transportation industry while delivering financial inclusion, insurance, vehicle financing and other essential support services to transport operators. By deploying MetroGov, the government wants to accelerate its transformation plan for the transport industry. The MetroGov platform provides digital identities for drivers and a platform for vehicle registration and tracking. Operators and riders registered on the platform would have the opportunity to access vehicle financing and insurance. The platform would also promote increased transparency with revenue generated from the sector. The data captured would assist the Government in the development of effective responses, interventions and policies to regulate and optimize the Ekiti State transport industry. Speaking at the IRS Office in Ekiti State, the Chairman of the Ekiti State Internal Revenue Service Mr. Eleazar Olumuyiwa Ogunmilade stated that “we have partnered with MAX, a reputable platform that has demonstrated its track record by operating
  2. 2. safely across four states in Nigeria. We are excited about this partnership. Apart from improving transparency in revenue collection in the industry, the project will provide the Government with more actionable intelligence that will be extremely helpful in policy formulation for the industry at large”. “We have engaged with relevant authorities and interest groups,” said Ogunmilade. “They have expressed their commitment to the new system as they agree this would deliver improved services to both transport operators and commuters.” Speaking at the Government House in Ado-Ekiti, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Investment, Trade and Innovation, Mr Akintunde Oyebode, indicated that the initiative was developed to address the issues of safety, security and operator identification in the State. He added that ESMOT would ensure the proper registration and licensing of all transport operators. Through the digitisation of the sector and the introduction of mobile-enabled payment systems, this initiative would deliver greatly improved transportation services to residents of Ekiti State. As part of the initiative, the Ekiti State Government will require all motorcycle operators within the state to undergo onboarding within the stipulated and approved time-frame. Speaking on the partnership, Adetayo Bamiduro, CEO of MAX, said this initiative is at the core of MAX’s mission to build technology and financing infrastructure to make mobility safe, affordable, accessible, and sustainable for all Nigerians. Bamiduro said: “Our goal in developing the MetroGov platform is to volunteer and offer our expertise to Regulators, Governments, Public Sector partners and non-profit organizations in delivering safer transportation services to commuters. MAX.ng has built strong capabilities in transport operations, vehicle financing, ride-hailing and electric mobility for the benefit of drivers, enterprises, and commuters. We are extremely excited and honoured by the opportunity to support the Ekiti State Government in its efforts to provide safer and more resilient transportation services to its people.” MAX.ng and the Ekiti State government will work together to introduce various safety initiatives to transform the industry, such as traffic laws, speed limits, helmet usage, protective equipment to commuters. They will also offer training programs to drivers. The deployment of MetroGov is another win for Ekiti State which is quickly demonstrating an important resolve towards supporting businesses and innovation. Recently, the state government took the lead in crashing Right of Way tax to N145 from N4,500 per meter for telecom companies laying fibre optics cables, boosting the chances of broadband penetration in the state. At least four other states have since joined Ekiti in crashing their Right of Way tax.
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