by Tunde Ogunmola
The Lagos Sate Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode is set to keep his promise, by eliminating yellow ‘danfo’ buses from the Lagos metropolis and commissioning newer commercial buses, in line with the ‘megacity’ status of Lagos state.
The Governor who had just recently made this proposition, said the state is set to commence the first stage of the Bus Reform Initiative, by rolling out 5000 brand new buses, this according to him, will commence between now and January 2018.
Governor Ambode made this known when students of the prestigious Harvard Kennedy School of Government United States of America, paid him a courtesy visit at the Lagos House in Ikeja. While reiterating the importance of an integrated transport system to the growing economy of the state, he said the release of the first 5000 new buses, would be the first step by his administration to change the existing transport system, predominantly operated by the yellow buses, popularly known as ‘danfo’.
“In the last one year, we have decided that we must integrate rail, road water and air transportation systems in such a way that the system of connectivity is improved upon and I would like to have a direct partnership on how that can actually be actualised”.
In his own words: “Right now we are cleaning out all the yellow buses you see in the State. As we proceed in the next six months and a span of three years, we are introducing 5000 new buses of European standard to actually clean up the city because if you want to grow the economy of Lagos, transportation is key and then it’s a major infrastructure for tourism itself.”
“This is just a paradigm shift where Danfo drivers move from being addressed as Danfo drivers but as professional drivers. So, we will buy back the Danfos from them and it becomes the seed money to become eventual owners of those buses in the years the facility is spread.
“It is something we have been working on in the last one year and we don’t come out to say we are going to do anything without working properly on it”.