Environmentalists applaud Sanwo-Olu’s electric

The Centre for Climate Change and Environmental Studies in Nigeria, an observer organisation to the United Nations framework convention on climate change, has hailed Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s introduction of electric buses and trains in the state and the arrival of the first set of buses in the state’s Mass Transit Master Plan. Speaking with Bustling Lagos on the development, Executive Director of the organisation, Dr Aminu Zakari, said, one of the biggest challenges of our time was the environmental issues, particularly climate change and global warming.

‘‘These are some of the greatest challenge that humanity is facing currently, ranging from flooding, the heat waves as well as natural disasters. One of the ways to address these problems is to reduce our global CO2 emis- sions. The emissions of the carbon dioxide into the atmo- sphere which causes harm to the environment. Traditionally, in Nigeria, our major means of transportation is mostly vehicles which contributes a higher percentage of the global CO2 emissions to the environment, degrading the environment and causing harm to the people.

‘‘The usage of other means of transportation which are not environmental friendly also contributes to the damage done to the atmosphere.’’ Dr. Zakari said: ‘‘The introduction of the electric buses is a plus to Lagos state as regards the way to cut down the rate of CO2 emissions. Therefore, helping not only Lagos State alone but the country in complying with global regulations on the problem. Nigeria is a party to the UN climate change resolutions and every year, we attend the global climate change conference and the major agenda on the table is how to reduce the global CO2 emissions. The introduction of electric buses in Lagos State will drastically diminish the rate of CO2 emissions’’ ‘‘Considering the population and the need for movement of people, goods as well as services across the nation, it becomes very paramount that one of the way forward are innovative ideas.’’

He emphasise that the Lagos State Government, under the leadership of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has blazed the trail with the introduction of electric rains and the more re- cent electric buses in the state. According to him, it is a win-win situation in terms of increasing the means of transportation in the state.

‘‘All the people that will be using the electric trains and the buses, if they were not to be using those trains and buses will definitely use other means of transportation that will harm the environment in the state.” Dr. Zakari praised Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his innovation in moving ahead of the trends and contributing positively to the environment in his choice of transportation infrastructure put in place for the people of Lagos.

Mrs. Shola Abimbola, an educationist, called on the Lagos State Government to embark on massive replacement of fuel based vehicles in the State so that CO2 emissions can be drastically reduced to the barest minimum in Lagos State.

Mrs. Abimbola opined that residents in Lagos should be encouraged to buy electric vehicles and that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu should provide charging stations all over the state to en- courage more people to opt for electric vehicles that could protect our atmosphere and reduce the impacts of climate change.

On the other hand, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had noted that the development was part of his administration’s increased effort to modernize every sector of the state. He had thanked Oando Plc. for their partnership, adding that Lagosians can expect a cleaner and greener public transportation system. The governor said: “With the ability to travel 280km at full charge, taking into account our unique travel times in Lagos, our electric buses are a game-changer. With an average daily usage of 200km by existing BRTs, there is no need to fear that the buses can stop while in transit. “Our new electric buses will not only reduce carbon emissions but will also increase efficiency.

This means that Lagosians can say goodbye to high fuel costs and hello to cost-efficient transportation. We shall be running a pilot scheme over the next few months to gather sufficient data required to analyze the operational efficiencies rela- tive to the current BRT buses to further improve our public transport service.’’

“This collaboration is a testament to our commitment to creating a sustainable future for Lagos. We understand the need for charging stations to power our electric buses, which is why we are partnering with Oando Clean Energy Limited to strategically place Universal Chargers at public places like malls and gas stations. We also plan to establish an Assembly Plant for Electric Buses in the near future in Lagos State.’’

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