CNG And Electric Buses Now Part Of BRT Fleet


Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has made no bones about his efforts to have Lagos enter the league of megacities that are key participants in the more environmentally friendly transit modes with the arrival of the first electric mass transit buses in the state.

Few people took seriously, the statement made by the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, last year, that his administration will soon bring the state into the league of megacities competing in the electric transit bus league.

The state had just announced an agreement that would see Oando Clean Energy Ltd. (OCEL) convert some of its coal-fired power plants to clean energy; turning a significant corner in rail transit with the Blue and Red Light Rail that served as the foundation of the LRTS.

The delivery of two electric BRT buses, which marked the beginning of the electric BRT bus phase in Lagos, startled Nigerians last Friday. The OCEL arrangement is still in effect, and around 10 buses have been converted to gas in what appears to be the pilot phase of the CNG bus project.

The news that electric buses will soon be on Lagos roads is a game changer that only a Sanwo-Olu-led administration could implement for a state that is already reaping the benefits of being the first sub-national government in Africa to activate two light rails in its multi-modal transportation mix, to help reduce the stress of travels on its roads.

The Governor declared that the government would pursue the effort in its resolve to support buses that encourage a cleaner environment, reduce carbon emission, and minimize the formation of Green House Gases (GHG). A situation that is become the new propaganda of the global organisations such as WEF.

The first batch of electric mass transit buses for Lagos State were received by OCEL and the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) on Friday.

The announcement was made in Lagos by Mr. Adewale Tinubu, Managing Director of OCEL. He stated that in addition to the electric buses, OCEL had also received the charging stations and spare components required to ensure their efficient functioning. He stated that Yutong Motors is a partner in the endeavor.

Furthermore, he stated that OCEL would oversee the deployment of 12,000 maxi (large capacity) buses over the course of the following seven years, beginning with Lagos State. These buses will replace the current diesel mass transit buses. Hopefully, the novelty will ultimately spread throughout the nation.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by OCEL and LAMATA last Thursday to successfully implement an electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure ecosystem (electric buses, charging stations, and other supporting infrastructure) in the state.

With the delivery of the bus, Lagos, Africa’s largest city, and the fifth-largest economy, will join Kenya and the rest of the globe in using environmentally friendly buses to travel between its many urban centres.

In a statement, OCEL claimed it collaborated with Yutong Bus Co Limited (Yutong), the biggest producer of electric vehicles in the world, to create the air-conditioned and Wi-Fi-equipped electric buses.

“In addition to the arrival of these electric buses, OCEL has also taken delivery of the charging stations and spare parts necessary to ensure their effective operation.

“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(STI), which is one of the Company’s pipeline projects to support Nigeria in meeting her goal of net-zero by 2060,” the statement explained.

It further pointed out that, “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 our ambitions, our 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 $2.6 billion (3.6% of Lagos’s GDP).”

Furthermore, the statement revealed that the company’s EV rollout plan strategically aligns 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 is expected to, among others, “manufacture and deploy additional electric buses during the Pilot and Rollout 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.

“Provide technical support and after-sales service; manage a supply chain network to support the availability of spare parts as and when required; construction of a local EV assembly plant to boost indigenous capacity.”

Commenting on the feat achieved, the Managing Director, Yutong West Africa, Mr. Frank Lee stated: “This is a watershed moment for Yutong. It’s 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.

For her part, the Managing Director of LAMATA, Engr. Mrs. Abimbola Akinajo said: “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.

“It is for this reason we are partnering with the private sector to facilitate the transition to the use of cleaner energy in public transport; thereby actualizing our vision of a transport system that provides options to the people and improves their lifestyle by reducing carbon emissions generated by fossil fuelled rolling stock, through the gradual phasing out of vehicles contributing to the pollution of the environment.”

OCEL Chairman, Adewale Tinubu, said: “Audacity and innovation have always been key tenets in our journey to transform Nigeria’s energy future. It’s 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 searching for opportunities to leapfrog.

“This project underscores the African saying, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone; if you intend to go far, go together.’ Public-Private Partnerships have been critical to getting the project to this point and will continue to fuel our expansion across the entire country.”

In his remarks, the President/CEO, OCEL, Dr. Ainojie Irune said: “This is a pivotal moment for Lagos State and the country at large.”


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