Showing posts with label transportation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label transportation. Show all posts

Friday, April 26, 2024

Taxi system fueled by electric vehicles in Nigeria

As climate change wreaks havoc around the world, the need for sustainable solutions grows more urgent. In Nigeria, a private company recently introduced an Uber-style taxi system made of approximately 200 electric vehicles. The company says the fleet is a step toward a greener future. Gibson Emeka reports from Abuja, Nigeria. Amy Reifenrath narrates.

By Gibson Emeka, VOA 

Related story: The eco-entrepreneur sparking the electric vehicle revolution in Nigeria



Thursday, April 11, 2024

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

The eco-entrepreneur sparking the electric vehicle revolution in Nigeria

Mustapha Gajibo is driving change in Nigeria with his groundbreaking company, African Motor Works. The entrepreneur is transforming Nigeria's transportation sector while focusing on affordability and sustainability.

"Our main reasons for building electric vehicles are the high cost of mobility, cost of energy and carbon emissions," Mustapha Gajibo, Founder and CEO of African Motor Works, tells SCENES.

The young business owner's interest in electrifying Nigeria's transport options was sparked by the constant problems with the country's electricity supply.

"We spent weeks, sometimes months, even up to a year without electricity. So that has really motivated me to come up with this company," explains Mustapha.

The start-up company manufactures 200 vehicles monthly and produces mass transit vehicles such as large buses, minibuses and tricycles. Each vehicle has a simple battery-swapping system and can be fully charged in less than 40 minutes.

African Motor Works employs 24 workers and plans to expand its workforce. According to the electric vehicle creator, building a solid team is the key to his company's success.

"I don't call them staff. I call them family. Whatever glory we achieve, we achieve together," says Mustapha.

The reputation of African Motor Works is gaining momentum in Nigeria, and Mustafa hopes his venture will inspire other manufacturers across Africa. He dreams of one day seeing his African vehicles driving through the streets of New York, Beijing and other cities worldwide.

By Gregory Ward & Hillary Ebele Nnoruka, EuroNews

Related story: Video - Nigerian engineering students build electric car

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Nigerian woman gives birth at Lagos' Onipanu Bus Stop

 A Nigerian woman has given birth at a bus stop in the main city of Lagos to the jubilation of a crowd that had gathered nearby.

The unnamed woman was waiting to board a bus at the Onipanu Bus Stop when she unexpectedly went into labour on Monday, the emergency services said.

Female market traders helped her to a quiet spot, while first responders rushed to the scene.

She gave birth to a "bouncing" baby boy, the emergency services added.

The mother and child were then taken to hospital, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (Lamesa) added.

No further details have been released about them, but Nigerians on social media have been posting congratulatory messages - and suggesting names for the newborn.

Facebook user Sunday Ogunsola suggested that the baby should be called Abiona, a Yoruba name which roughly translates to "born during a journey".

The name would highlight the idea that the child was like an explorer, ready for a lifetime of adventures.

Another person on Facebook commented that the woman had saved on hospital bills by giving birth at a bus stop.

By Mansur Abubakar, BBC

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Eight dead, several missing after ferry capsizes in Nigeria

At least eight people were confirmed dead and many were missing after a wooden ferry carrying 100 people capsized in northwest Nigeria, local emergency services said on Tuesday.

The accident happened on Monday in Niger state as residents of Dugga village were travelling to a market in neighbouring Kebbi State to sell grain and sugar cane.

Boat accidents are common on Nigerian waterways, and are often blamed on overcrowding and poor maintenance.

Ibrahim Hussaini, spokesperson for Niger State Emergency Management Agency, said a sudden change in wind direction sank the overcrowded boat.

Eight bodies were recovered and five people were rescued but many others were missing, added Hussaini.

By Ahmed Kingimi, Reuters

Related stories: At least 20 feared dead in Nigeria boat accident

Boat carrying 20 fishermen capsizes in Nigeria

Video - 17 bodies recovered after boat capsizes in eastern Nigeria




Thursday, January 11, 2024

At least 20 feared dead in Nigeria boat accident

At least 20 people are feared dead in an accident involving two passenger boats travelling from Andoni to Bonny island in Nigeria's coastal Rivers State, local officials said on Wednesday, the first such accident to hit the region this year.

Erastus Awortu, chairman of Andoni local government area, said the incident occurred on Tuesday night along the Andoni waterways.

"When we learned of the tragic development, we immediately dispatched our team to join the first responders on a rescue mission at the scene of the incident," Awortu said in a statement, without providing further details about survivors.

Overcrowding and poor maintenance are responsible for most boat accidents on Nigerian waterways.

Last year, almost 200 people died in boat accidents across Nigeria. One such disaster in June killed more than 100 after an overloaded boat capsized in the north-central Niger State.

Rivers Governor Siminalayi Fubara, in a statement, expressed condolences to the affected families and pledged to "ensure that such threats against safe traveling on our sea routes are tackled."

By Ahmed Kingimi, Reuters

Related stories: Boat carrying 20 fishermen capsizes in Nigeria

Video - 17 bodies recovered after boat capsizes in eastern Nigeria

Video - Search ends, recovery efforts intensify after tragic boat accident in Nigeria

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Video - 17 bodies recovered after boat capsizes in eastern Nigeria

At least 17 bodies have been recovered after a passenger boat capsized in Nigeria's eastern state of Taraba on Saturday.


Related story: Over 70 people missing after latest deadly boat accident in Nigeria


Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Video - Experts share views on railway projects in Nigeria under BRI cooperation

Economic experts foresee a boost for Nigeria as China invests fresh funds in two crucial railway projects. Analysts believe the continuation of the projects that are part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will stimulate more investments and job opportunities in the west African nation.


Related stories: Video - Nigeria celebrates landmark infrastructure projects built through Belt and Road Initiative

Video - Electric train linking mainland Lagos with island starts operations in Nigeria


Monday, September 11, 2023

Ferry accident in Nigeria leaves 26 dead

At least 26 people died and several others were missing after a ferry capsized on a reservoir in north central Nigeria on Sunday, local officials said, the second such major accident to hit the region in three months.

Bologi Ibrahim, the spokesperson for the governor of Niger state, said the boat was carrying more than 100 people, including women and children, in the Mokwa local government area of the state. The victims were going to their farms across a major dam, said Ibrahim.

"Twenty six persons, mostly women and children have been confirmed dead, over 30 people rescued, while a combined rescue operation by marine police and local divers in collaboration with Niger State Emergency Management Agency is ongoing," Ibrahim said in a state.

In July, more than 100 people died when an overloaded boat capsized in a remote part of Niger state, in one of the worst such disasters in recent years.

Overcrowding and poor maintenance are responsible for most boat accidents on Nigerian waterways. 

By Camillus Eboh, Reuters

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Video - Electric train linking mainland Lagos with island starts operations in Nigeria

Authorities say the train service will operate 12 trips daily for the next four weeks using the locomotive system. Electric power train operation will follow thereafter with 76 trips planned for each day, transporting at least 150,000 passengers.


Related stories: New China-assisted light rail services commences in Abuja, Nigeria

Video - Nigeria plans to spend tens of billions to modernise railway network

Video - West Africa's first light railway system launched in Abuja, Nigeria

Friday, September 1, 2023

Video - Transport sector declines by more than 50 percent in Nigeria

Segun Sopita, the principal partner at Woodridge & Scott Consulting, said the removal of the fuel subsidy by the Nigerian government has had a sharp impact on the transport and logistics sector. Nigeria’s transportation sector accounts for 0.89 percent of the West African nation’s GDP.


Wednesday, May 10, 2023

15 children dead and 25 more missing in boat accident in Nigeria

Fifteen children drowned and 25 others were left missing when a boat capsized in a river in northwest Nigeria's Sokoto state, a local official told AFP Wednesday. The children were on their way to collect firewood in the bush on Tuesday on the other side of Shagari river when their overloaded boat capsized, Aliyu Abubakar, political administrator of Shagari district said.

"We woke up to a tragedy yesterday morning, where a boat carrying children capsized mid-river," Abubakar told AFP.

"Fifteen bodies, 13 girls and two boys, were recovered by local rescue teams and buried in the village," said the official, who supervised the rescue operation.

River accidents are frequent in Nigeria, often caused by overloading, poor maintenance, heavy flooding in rainy season and disregard of safety regulations.

Divers were working in the Shagari river late on Tuesday searching for more of the children.

In April last year, 29 children from nearby Gidan Magana village in Sokoto drowned in the same river when their vessel capsized while they were also on their way to fetch firewood for their families.

During massive flooding in rainy season in December, at least 76 people drowned when their boat went down in a swollen river in southeast Anambra State.

In one of the country's worst river disasters in May 2021, only 20 people were rescued and more than 150 went missing when a boat transporting people to market broke apart while travelling between Kebbi and Niger states.

Nigeria's waterways authority has tried to ban night-time sailing on rivers to stop accidents, and overloading vessels is a criminal offence, but skippers and crews often flout the rules.

River transport and market trade are common in Nigeria, where roads are often poor. The Niger, West Africa's main river travelling through Guinea to Nigeria's Niger Delta, is a key local trade route. 


Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Flights in Nigeria disrupted as ground staff go on strike

Airlines in Nigeria said on Monday that flights were being disrupted after ground staff began an indefinite strike to demand higher pay.

Air Peace, which has the biggest fleet in Nigeria, and smaller domestic carrier Dana Air said the strike by the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) was delaying flights and they hoped the issue would be quickly resolved.

“The strike has affected all operations of all airlines being handled by the company [NAHCO],” Air Peace said in a statement.

British Airways and Qatar Airways, among the foreign airlines frequently flying to Nigeria, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The National Union of Transport Employees and Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria issued a notice last week that its members would go on strike from Monday to press NAHCO for better pay.

Flight disruptions are common in Nigeria due to issues surrounding logistics, labour union strikes and fuel scarcity.

In May 2022, the Airline Operators of Nigeria, an umbrella organisation of domestic airlines, suspended flights for days saying the price of jet fuel had jumped from 190 to 700 Nigerian naira per litre (from $0.45 to almost $1.70). The rise was primarily caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February. 

Al Jazeera

Monday, August 22, 2022

Video - Nigeria Electric Scooters

A Nigerian based transportation company is leveraging eco-friendly technology to redefine how people move within gated communities. Their eco-friendly, two- wheeled scooters are providing affordable and fun means of transportation for users, while also making the environment free of harmful air pollutants.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Video - Nigeria plans to spend tens of billions to modernise railway network


Nigeria is planning to spend tens of billions of US dollars to modernise its railway network. The overhaul could give remote parts of the country a huge economic boost. Al Jazeera's Ahmed Idris reports from Lagos.

Al Jazeera

Friday, June 11, 2021

Video - Lagos considers waterways to ease traffic gridlock


The traffic problems in Nigeria's largest city have been growing as fast as its population. Lagos's residents describe long, uncomfortable hours sitting on gridlocked roads. Now, the government is looking at waterways as a potential solution. Al Jazeera's Ahmed Idris reports from Lagos, Nigeria.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Nigerian rescuers find dozens of bodies after boat tragedy

Nigerian rescue workers pulled more than three dozen bodies from the water on Thursday after an overcrowded riverboat sank leaving more than 150 people missing and feared drowned.

Survivors and officials said only 20 people were rescued on Wednesday when the wooden boat ferrying passengers to a market broke apart and sank as it travelled between central Niger state and Wara in northwest Kebbi state.

“Nine more bodies have been recovered. So far 45 bodies have been found. The search continues for more bodies,” Abubakar Shehu, a local official supervising the rescue operation, told AFP news agency.

Riverboat tragedies are common on Nigerian waterways mostly due to overcrowding, weather and lack of maintenance, but Wednesday’s toll would be one of the deadliest in recent years.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday called the mishap “devastating” after the country’s inland waterways authority said only 20 people had been rescued and another 156 were still missing.

Ali Ibrahim Garba, wearing an orange life jacket standing near wooden boats on the river bank, said rescuers were still searching for missing people after saving as many as they could.

“Right now we are in search of three people, one male and two females,” he told AFP.

NIWA agency local manager Yusuf Birma told reporters on Wednesday the boat was overcrowded with about 180 people and went down an hour into its journey.

Local district administrator Abdullahi Buhari Wara said the boat was also loaded with bags of sand from a gold mine.

NIWA has banned nighttime sailing on the rivers to stop accidents and says overloading ships is a criminal offence, but skippers and crews often ignore the regulations.

Early in May, 30 people drowned when an overloaded boat capsized in Niger state.

The boat carrying 100 local traders also split into two during a storm as they were returning from a local market.

The Niger, West Africa’s main river travelling through Guinea to Nigeria’s Niger Delta, is a key local trade route for some of the countries. 

Al Jazeera

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Nigeria's Plentywaka gets backing from Techstars, plans expansion to Canada

Plentywaka, a Nigerian bus-booking platform, today announced that it has been acceptedinto the Techstars Toronto accelerator program.

It will join nine other startups in the class of 2021 and secure funding from the accelerator as it sets its sights on global expansion.

The Lagos-based company, founded by Onyeka Akumah, Johnny Ena, John Shaibu and Afolabi Oluseyi, operates an 'Uber-for-buses' model connecting commuters with buses via an app.

Plentywaka launched in September 2019, and in the first two months, moved an average of six people daily, according to CEO Akumah. By its sixth month, this number increased to about 1,500 daily, and the company completed more than 100,000 rides within that timeframe.

Then in March 2020, the pandemic-induced lockdown hit businesses across Lagos and other states within Nigeria. Due to the nature of its business, Plentywaka had to make a slight pivot and began transporting essential services across Lagos, especially food items. It also opened a logistics service.

As the lockdown eased across the city and commuting resumed, the company moved 60% capacity while the operational cost remained the same. Although growth was steady and picking up, the company started seeking external investment. It received $300,000 pre-seed from its parent company, EMFATO and other early-stage investors like Microtractionand Niche Capital in August.

Backed with the new funding, Plentywaka has since doubled down on its core offering -- transporting people via buses. The logistics arm that it launched, as well as a car service, have since been shuttered.

Akumah says the focus on a primary offering has paid a dividend. The company has expanded its intrastate services into two other cities in Nigeria including the country's capital city, Abuja and has moved about 300,000 people. Following this announcement though, there are immediate plans to launch an interstate service across different cities in Nigeria.

This service will see Plentywaka partner with some major bus travel companies, which collectively have more than 2000 buses and ply over 100 routes in the country. Plentywaka acts as an aggregator, and commuters can see options of various transport companies, compare fares, and book on its platform.

"Plentywaka is getting to a point where we're now becoming more like an aggregator as we onboard transportation companies on our platform. Interstate travel in Nigeria is data insufficient, and we want to be the first company to solve this." Ena, co-founder and president of Plentywaka, said to TechCrunch.

In addition to this and the new capital from Techstars, Plentywaka is looking to scale its platform across Africa and North America. Akumah says this global expansion plan will start with a city in Canada, most likely Toronto, on or before Q4 2021.

Sunil Sharma, the managing director of Techstars Toronto, confirmed this to TechCrunch. According to Sharma, Techstars is backing the Nigerian mobility startup because it's solving a massive problem in Nigeria that can be likened to urban transportation challenges in other populated cities worldwide.

"We know that Western cities have legacy transportation systems. However, there are many transportation challenges, even in a city like Toronto," he said. "And we think that Plentywaka's technology and approach in improving the lives of citizens and their daily commute needs can be brought over to cities in the West just as they are in Africa."

Plentywaka plans to launch its intracity service first after engaging the country's necessary stakeholders before introducing the intercity model. Sharma thinks that most cities in Canada aren't well serviced by buses, leading to a broken intercity transit infrastructure. Plentywaka's presence will bring the much-needed option the city deserves, he says.

"Cities and towns here should have bus connectivity, but they quite simply don't have it, and my view is that the arrival of Plentywaka will be an immediate option to the status quo. It will also resonate with people as a way to supplement existing transportation options," he said.

Techstars' relationship with Akumah also proved crucial in Plentywaka's acceptance into the accelerator. A second-time Techstars-backed founder, Akumah co-founded Farmcrowdy, a Nigerian digital agriculture platform in 2016. Having gone through the accelerator's Atlanta program four years ago with the agritech startup, Akumah is doing the same with Plentywaka. He doubles as CEO at both companies.

The serial founder said the relationship with Techstars is one reason the company is expanding to Canada instead of neighbouring African countries.

"If the opportunity we have in Toronto right now to expand was similar to what we had in Ghana or South Africa, of course we'll be having those conversations already. But when we have the support system from Techstars, Sunil, and regulators in Toronto without even putting feet on the ground, I mean that makes it exciting for us to expand to Canada," the CEO remarked.

Nigerian or African startups, in general, rarely make their way into Canada. Plentywaka is on the verge of doing so, and it will be looking to close a seed round from investors to carry out these expansion plans and further improve its technology.

By Tage Kene-Okafor


Related story: Trucking app reshapes haulage business in Nigeria

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Nigerian transport startup expands offering

Plentywaka, a Nigeria-based transport startup has announced the expansion of its current offering, with the launch of WakaCab, a new car-hailing service that will operate for commuters in the Delta State.

As the first bus-hailing service in the West African country, Plentywaka is renowned for its offering of safe and convenient transport for Nigerian commuters via an easy to use app.

The app allows people to book and pay for a ride in real-time. The startup expands by launching WakaCab which is a new car-hailing service that has trained drivers and is operating for commuters within Delta State beginning with Asaba.


With limited transport links present in Southern Nigeria, Plentywaka aims to solve this with the introduction of WakaCab, a secondary mode of public transport aimed at local commuters.

WakaCab is currently available in Asaba but Plentywaka plans to expand this offering across the region.

In an official press release, Johnny Enagwolor, President and co-founder of Plentywaka, commented on the lack of tech-driven transport systems and the reason for their strategic expansion.

“Expanding the Plentywaka brand into Delta State with a car-hailing service, after launching in 2019 is a testament to our success and the importance of staying true to the vision. But it also shows our commitment to solving the issues of transport in Nigeria; and that does not necessarily mean a one size fits all approach to each state. We recognised that there was a large shortfall in a private car and technology-driven services compared to the other states we operate in, therefore the proposition had to be different for Asaba and Warri.”

How it works

Commuters can book for either personal or shared rides with WakaCab through the Plentywaka app available on Google Playstore and IOS App store.

WakaCab assists with convenience as it locates available taxi’s on the main roads, including Okpanam or Nnebisi Road. Commuting in and out of Asaba and at a later stage, Warri will be made easier through the WakaCab service.

Regardless of location, commuters are able to select a driver within a one to five-kilometer radius and are provided a QR code which then is scanned as riders enter the vehicle.

Payments can be made by cash or Plentywaka’s e-wallet system called Wakapurse.

Plentywaka Vehicle Partnership (PVP) scheme

The startup’s aim to expand into Delta State has resulted in the launch of the Plentywaka Vehicle Partnership (PVP) scheme. This scheme gives users the opportunity to register their own vehicle on the Plentywaka app and allows them to earn over Nigerian naira 250 000 per month.

Users who register their vehicles must pass the company’s official training scheme and vehicle inspection in order to start operating, similar to the model adopted by Uber.

Plentywaka also recently announced their partnership with Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) which will contribute to their objective to extend the car-hailing service to the state of Warri. Since September 2019, Plentywaka has been able to attract more than 45 000 customers to its platform.

Vehicle owners who are interested in the PVP scheme can sign up here.

The platform was forced to modify its business model in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic which indicates their ability to adapt to their environment.

Plentywaka’s response to the pandemic was to introduce Logistics by Plentywaka, a logistics aggregator platform that allows users to connect to better, safer, and affordable logistics services, and Staff Bus Solutions which is an exclusive bus service directed at corporate organizations

Venture Burn

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Nigeria’s bus drivers battle thugs, a union and police in Lagos