As part of efforts to address the safety and security concerns in associated with motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, the Ekiti State government has entered into a partnership with Metro Africa Xpress (MAX.ng), one of the leading mobility platform focused on Nigeria and West Africa.
Ekiti State is working with MAX.ng to transform informal motorcycle and tricycle transportation (also called Keke) in the state.
A statement explained that the state has partnered with MAX.ng to deploy MetroGov, a secure urban mobility platform that uses next-generation technology to provide identity management, remote monitoring, crime prevention, digital payments, and financial audit solutions.
It stated that Ekiti State was taking the lead in securing and digitising transportation.
“The state has an estimated population of three 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 safety, security, insurance, vehicle financing and other essential support services to transport operators.
“By deploying MetroGov, the government seeks 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. Motorcycle operators would also be trained and licensed.
“Operators registered on the platform would eventually gain access to affordable health insurance, life insurance, and vehicle financing. The platform would also enable increased transparency by providing data for more effective revenue collection to drive infrastructure development in the state,” it explained.
The MetroGov platform is expected to provide the government greater visibility into urban mobility and would aid the implementation of more effective safety and security standards.
The data captured would assist the government in the development of effective responses, interventions and policies to optimize the Ekiti State transport industry. The goal is to ensure that all riders, drivers and vehicles are registered on the platform, licensed, and properly trained.
Speaking at the IRS Office in Ekiti State, the Chairman of the Ekiti State Internal Revenue Service Mr. Eleazar Olumuyiwa Ogunmilade explained that, “we have partnered with MAX.ng, a reputable platform that has demonstrated its track record by operating safely across four states in Nigeria. We are excited about this partnership. Apart from improving security and transparency, the project would provide the Government with more actionable intelligence that would be extremely helpful for 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 guarantee the safety of our citizens, and would deliver improved services to both transport operators and commuters.”
Speaking in Ado-Ekiti, the Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development, Ekiti State, 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 systems that ensure transparency, this initiative would deliver improved transportation services to the residents of Ekiti State, he added.
As part of the initiative, the Ekiti State Government will require all motorcycle and tricycle operators within the state to undergo onboarding within the stipulated and approved time-frame.
Speaking on the partnership, Adetayo Bamiduro, CEO of MAX.ng, said the initiative was at the core of MAX.ng’s mission to build technology infrastructure to make mobility safe, affordable, accessible, and sustainable for all Nigerians.
Bamiduro added: “Our goal in developing the MetroGov platform is to volunteer and offer our expertise to Regulators, Governments, Public Sector partners, Transport Associations, and non-profit organizations in delivering safer transportation services to citizens.”