Lagos is a sprawling city of 21 million people. This means that more than 10% of the 167 million Nigerians reside in Lagos. For a state that is the smallest in Nigeria, this makes for a very crowded metropolis; and oh how crowded it is!
The combination of an enormous amount of people number of people moving about daily like worker bees buzzing their way to the defend their colonies to the death, combined with the inadequacy of existing transport infrastructure to support its burgeoning population, spawns out the nightmare that is called traffic. Traffic in Lagos is a serious problem!
It’s such an issue that according to an estimate cited by the guardian, the average Lagosian spends a cumulative five years of his life in traffic. The existing transportation network doesn’t do much to ease the dire traffic situation. Most people commute in private cars, commercial buses and the public BRT buses. However, increasing the amount of these vehicles on the roads or even constructing more roads won’t solve the traffic situation. In fact, it would simply aggravate the problem.
Traffic is such an issue that the average worker workers has to be on the road as early as 5am in order to beat the rush-hour traffic and get to work on time. Getting home after work is another ordeal or as boxing enthusiasts would call it, “Round 2”. The surge of people leaving work (especially from the island axis to the mainland) is characteristically overwhelming and usually causes hour-long backlog of traffic on major roads. This causes people to spend as much as 4-5 hours trying to get back to their homes after a day’s work.
It is no doubt that this will affect economic growth. Lagos being the economic powerhouse of Nigeria, anything that adversely affects it will inevitably have a ripple effect on the economy of the nation. Where workers spend a huge amount of time trying to get to work which otherwise would have been spent at work, their productive capacity is stifled and eventually production will decline.
Not to mention the physiological effects of a long commute. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, being in traffic for long hours can increase stress levels and this could lead to a chain of adverse mental and physical conditions. Also spending hours in traffic slouched over in a cramped bus has negative effects on your posture.
This is where the movement called ridesharing comes in. When people rideshare, when they share their rides with others going along their route, less cars will be put on the roads and by implication, there will be less traffic hindering people from getting to work which will in turn prevent the muffling of their productive capacities. It is like a domino and ridesharing is the phenomenon that gets the cards falling.
Ridesharing companies like Jekalo are at the fore-front of this revolutionary movement. The core objective of Jekalo is to help reduce traffic congestion and get people to their destinations on time, in an affordable and secure manner. With companies like Jekalo actively involved in solving the traffic situation in Lagos, it is safe to say that economic growth hindered by traffic congestion will soon be a thing of the past. (too cheeky?)
“Disruptive innovation describes a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors” – Clayton Christensen.
The fact that ride-sharing companies around the world are on a rise is indisputable. The proposition that ride-sharing would soon become a main player in the trillion-dollar worldwide transportation sector is a fact that would manifest itself in the nearest future.
This rings even truer considering the pace in which the world is being rapidly “teched-up” and how ride-sharing companies have embraced and utilized technology on their platforms.
It isn’t far-fetched to see how and why ride-sharing has been on an astronomical growth over the last decade. This is simply because they have identified with the power of technology with regard to the impact of it on the world and have quite simply disrupted the status quo and displaced traditional transportation services.
For example, a ride-sharing company like Jekalo has a smartphone app which works on both Android and iOS. All you literally need to do to hitch a ride is press a button – No kidding! Apps and services like this benefit both the drivers and people who are in need of fast, comfortable rides. Most times offering riders the comfort of a personal car at the cost of a bus ride to work. Transactions on modern ride-sharing platforms are usually cashless and this makes the service even more seamless.
People have come to realize how beneficial the services provided by ride-sharing companies are and it has in no small way boosted the preference of ride-sharing over other transportation services by the commuting public.
Ride-sharing simply has come to stay. And as more and more people embrace this platform that seeks to curb carbon emissions, reduce traffic and make transport cheaper, it is inevitable that ride-sharing will continue to rise and rise.
Ride-sharing is relatively new in the Nigerian transportation scene. However, it has within its short period of existence, proven to be a better and more suitable alternative to the traditional ‘hailing’ taxis. Ride-sharing offers a host of benefits to its users that traditional taxis fail to do. Here, we are going to list some of the reasons that give ride-sharing and edge over taxis.
- Pricing – The pricing of traditional taxis are usually high, unchanging, inflexible and sometimes set by government regulators. Ride-sharing services have their prices set by market forces, are low and flexible. Jekalo for example charges for as low as N250 for commutes.
- Ease of payment – For traditional taxis, payments are more often than not by cash only. Also, having change for high denomination notes is almost always an issue. In Nigeria, Jekalo offers exclusively cashless method for payment. This is highly convenient, seamless and secure.
- Discounts and promotions – These are never available on traditional taxis. Ride-sharing services constantly offer discounts and promotions as incentives to woo customers onto the platform.
- Knowledge of fare ahead of time – Customers are made aware of the cost of the fare before booking on ride-sharing platforms. This is unavailable as regards traditional taxis.
- Communication with driver before/after ride – On ride-sharing platforms, passengers can contact drivers by text or calls though their contact information provided by the ride-sharing service. For traditional taxis, this is almost impossible.
- Innovation – Ride-sharing services come with technological innovation. Jekalo for example, has a smartphone app that can be utilized by passengers to check for available rides, join rides, update their profiles, communicate with the driver and many more. For traditional taxis, this is quite impossible.
- Possibility of retrieving items forgotten in vehicle – On ride-sharing services, this is quite simple. The passengers just need to get in touch with the drivers themselves or with the ride-sharing company. This is almost impossible on the traditional taxi platform, as commutes via taxis are with total strangers.
- Quality and cleanliness of vehicle – Vehicles on ride-sharing platforms are generally clean, in good shape and road worthy. Most come with air conditioning and are comfortable to commute in. Traditional taxis are known to be old, rickety, without air-conditioning and generally uncomfortable. They range from average to poor in this respect.
Flowing from the aforementioned points, it is quite evident why ride-sharing services will soon gain a foothold in the Nigerian transportation sector scene. It is foreseeable that they have come to stay. The displacement of the traditional taxi services might seem like a pipe-dream but underestimating the power of tech and innovation has proven time and again to be a losing battle.
“Is ridesharing the future of transportation in Nigeria? We earnestly believe so.”
Ride-sharing simply means the sharing of a car with others whom you share a similar route or destination with. Either with people who do not own cars or with people who do, but decide to skip on driving. This way, the same amount of people can still travel, but using less fuel, less cars and with greater efficiency. Ride-sharing brings with it a truck-load of benefits that are very crucial in the world we live in today.
With 7 billion people in the world today, 1.2 billion cars on the roads and an estimated 2 billion by 2035, road traffic engagements have skyrocketed and the existing road networks are not just enough to ease the flow of traffic. Research has proven that more roads are not going to solve this problem but less cars on the roads will! Herein lies one of the benefits of ridesharing.
Lagos is one of the big cities around the world that is perennially plagued by traffic gridlocks that could last hours on end. Ride-sharing is undoubtedly the key to easing the already critical traffic situation which would give back to commuters, the hours of manpower and productivity that are lost to traffic each day. Ride-sharing ultimately reduces the amount of cars on the road.
Let’s put this into perspective – if four people, each owning individual cars, decide instead to share one car, this means 3 less cars contributing to traffic jams. Imagine being able to cut-down every private car in Lagos by a factor of 3 and its potential for effectively reducing traffic congestion becomes attractive and clearly feasible.
We are at a point in history where climate change has become such a big concern so much so that one of the largest gathering of world leaders occurred at the Climate Change Conference held in November, 2015 with the sole aim of combating this issue. Ride-sharing also proffers a solution to this. With the ride-sharing initiative of having less cars on the road, inevitably, the sheer amount of greenhouse emissions that would have gone into the atmosphere would suffer a huge dent.
The effects of climate change are devastating, from floods to tsunamis to droughts. It is safe to say the world has taken notice of its effects and people, organisations and governments have started looking at climate-friendly alternatives to otherwise existing environmentally-damaging practices.
On a side note, in the age of burgeoning technology, with more and more people utilizing and engaging tech, Ride-sharing from Jekalo helps to expand the reach of tech by applying it to effect social change. When you conveniently share an affordable ride using the Jekalo app on your smartphone and GPS to get where you need to be when you need to be there, its a huge win for tech and for you.
Not only is ride-sharing using technology a smart use of resources, it is the future of transportation in Nigeria.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born on the 15th of September 1977. She is a novelist, nonfiction writer and short story writer and one of the most prolific authors to emerge from Nigeria. She has been called “the most prominent” of a “procession of critically acclaimed young anglophone authors that is succeeding in attracting a new generation of readers to African literature”.
Chimamanda was born in Enugu and grew up in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu where her parents worked as staff of the university. She studied medicine and pharmacy at UNN for a year and a half. During this period, she edited The Compass, a magazine run by the university’s Catholic medical students. She soon after left Nigeria for the United States to study communications and political science. She received her bachelor’s degree from Eastern Connecticut State University with the distinction of summa cum laude in 2001.
In 2003, she completed a master’s degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University. In 2008, she received a Master of Arts degree in African studies from Yale University.
Her first novel, Purple Hibiscus (2003), received wide critical acclaim; it was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction (2004) and was awarded the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book (2005).
Her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun received the 2007. Half of a Yellow Sun has been adapted into a film of the same title directed by Biyi Bandele, starring BAFTA winner and Academy Award nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor and BAFTA award-winner Thandie Newton, and was released in 2014.
Her third book, The Thing Around Your Neck (2009), is a collection of short stories.
In 2010 she was listed among the authors of The New Yorker′s “20 Under 40” Fiction Issue. Adichie’s story, “Ceiling”, was included in the 2011 edition of The Best American Short Stories.
Her third novel and fourth book, Americanah (2013), was selected by the New York Times as one of The 10 Best Books of 2013.
Chimamanda is a vocal advocate of feminism and gave a TEDx talk in 2012 titled “We should all be feminists”. Excerpts of the speech were incorporated into Beyonce’s 2013 song, “***Flawless”. In late 2015, it was announced by the Swedish Women’s Lobby that all 16 year-olds in Sweden will receive a copy of her feminism talk as part of their school curriculum. Way to go huh?!
Chimamanda has proven herself a formidable storyteller and a force to reckon with in the literary world and beyond its borders. She has helped thrust Nigerian writing into the world stage and influenced a generation of young new Nigerian writers who view her many successes as proof that they can make it too. We at Jekalo identify with her hunger for success and for this reason Chimamanda is today declared our #WCW! #LetsRideTogether
“The greatest threat to freedom is the absence of criticism.”
Oluwole “Wole” Soyinka was born on the 13th of July 1934. He is a Nigerian playwright, poet, author, teacher and political activist. He is a Nobel laureate and was awarded the prize for Literature in 1986, the first African to be honoured in that category. Wole Soyinka has published hundreds of works, including drama, novels, essays and poetry.
In the late 1950s, Wole Soyinka wrote his first important play, A Dance of the Forests, which satirized the Nigerian political elite. From 1958 to 1959, Soyinka was a dramaturgist at the Royal Court Theatre in London. In 1960, he was awarded a Rockefeller fellowship and returned to Nigeria to study African drama. In 1960, he founded the theater group, The 1960 Masks, and in 1964, the Orisun Theatre Company, in which he produced his own plays and performed as an actor. He has periodically been a visiting professor at the universities of Cambridge, Sheffield, and Yale.
Soyinka is also a political activist, and during the civil war in Nigeria he appealed in an article for a cease-fire. He was arrested for this in 1967, and held as a political prisoner for 22 months until 1969.Soyinka sometimes writes of modern West Africa in a satirical style, but his serious intent and his belief in the evils inherent in the exercise of power are usually present in his work. To date, Soyinka has published hundreds of works.
Now considered Nigeria’s foremost man of letters, Soyinka is still politically active and spent the 2015 election day in Africa’s biggest democracy working the phones to monitor reports of voting irregularities, technical issues and violence, according to The Guardian.
In 2014, Soyinka revealed he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and cured 10 months after treatment.
On a lighter note, Wole Soyinka is also known for his full grey afro hair and ‘mane’. The ultimate goal for every afro carrying young person and for those aspiring to the somewhat elite club of the ‘beardgang’.
Wole Soyinka is undoubtedly a man who cares deeply about his country and who, through his activism and satirical criticisms, strives to make it a better place. Jekalo identifies with this patriotic zeal of Nigeria’s only Noble Laureate and that’s why today, we declare him our MCM!
The robbery situation in Lagos traffic is a plight we are sadly all too familiar with. It has escalated to menacing proportions these past few months. There hardly goes a day without someone complaining on social media about their fate at the hands of these criminal elements. More often than not, their modus operandi is executing these nefarious operations on motorcycles or masquerading as traffic vendors – to put unsuspecting victims in a false sense of normalcy – then dispossessing commuters of their valuables.
These robberies take place almost exclusively in traffic and on certain routes or roads in the metropolis. They include Gbadaga, Oshodi, Carter Bridge, Costain, Mile 2, Onikan-CMS and other traffic prone hotspots.
Here are some tips about how to avoid being robbed in Lagos traffic from Jekalo.
- Hide your valuables from view
Put your handbags and other valuables under your seat, in the glove box or must preferably, in your boot. Traffic robbers ‘hunt’ by sight, if they don’t see any valuables in sight, they will leave you alone and move on.
- Avoid hotspots if possible
If it is possible to avoid going through routes that are notorious for traffic robberies, take alternative routes.
- Be on the lookout
When in traffic, make adequate use of your mirrors. Watch out for suspicious characters, if you see anyone approaching your vehicle take the next opening in traffic and honk repeatedly as you do so. Chances are, they would leave you alone for fear of attracting policemen (policemen can now be seen at strategic locations in some of these hot spots).
- Use dummies
Try to carry an old phone in your car (most of us have smaller, inexpensive phones that we use. This could work too) and give this to the criminal rather than your own phone. Make sure to keep your phone is on silent under your seat. Criminals do not bother to check the condition of the phone as they are often in a hurry.
However, it seems that with the recent deployment of 3 helicopters, APCs, 165 vehicles, 2 gunboats and other law enforcement apparatus to the Nigerian Police Force by the Lagos State Government, incidents of traffic robberies will cease to be a daily occurrence. This should not make you less vigilant though, follow these tips and you would be much safer from traffic robbers. Stay safe! #LetsRideTogether
Mrs. Ibukun Awosika was born in Ibadan on the 24th of December, 1962. She bagged a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University). She is also an alumna of the Chief Executive Programme of Lagos Business School and the Global Executive MBA Programme of the prestigious IESE Business School, Barcelona, Spain.
Mrs. Ibukun Awosika is the Founder & Chairperson of The Chair Centre Limited, a market leader in office furniture and TCC Security Systems, a banking security systems firm. After the ban on importation of furniture by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2004, The Chair Centre Ltd went into a joint venture with Sokoa S.A of France and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc to set up Sokoa Chair Centre Ltd., and she was appointed the MD/CEO of the joint-venture company. She is also the Chief Executive Officer of Sokoa Chair Centre Ltd, a joint-venture company of Sokoa S.A of France, Guaranty Trust Bank, The Chair Centre Ltd, and some other local investors.
In September 2015, she emerged as the first female Chairman of First Bank. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Cadbury Plc, Digital Jewels Ltd, The Convention on Business Integrity, and Youths Business Initiative. She also chairs the board of FBN Life Assurance Limited. She has served on the National Job Creation Committee (NCJC), and currently a member of the National Economic Summit Group (NESG), as well as a member of Lagos State University’s Governing Council. She was recently appointed to the Board of the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund.
She has consistently impacted youths and women for social development through the Afterschool Graduate Development Centre (AGDC), Women in Management and Business (WIMBIZ), and several other platforms. She is also the originator of the Ignite Business Ideas Contest where 100 great business ideas were given a seed capital of 100,000 naira, one-year Business Mentorship from successful entrepreneurs and business men/women and exposure to additional credit Facility from a bank. She is the author of ‘The Girl Entrepreneur: Our Stories So Far’ and ‘Ibukun Awosika: Business His Way.”
From the very expressive expose on Mrs. Ibukun Awosika above, it is scarce hard to see why she is our WCW. An industrious woman leaving in her trail, ample success stories, and an entrepreneur who inspires, aids and develops other entrepreneurs, what more can we add? Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, our WCW!
Father, loving husband, retired general, politician, president, thorn-in-the-flesh of many a corrupt person, king of the traditional attire. The president of Nigeria is many things to many people. To us, he embodies the unrelenting spirit. Before becoming the number one citizen in May, 2015 he had contested the position of President a total number of three times. Every time until his fourth attempt, he failed. As entrepreneurs ourselves, this is an important lesson. It tells us and everyone actually, that if you have a dream you should go at it until it becomes a reality. We should add Motivator to that list right?
President Buhari is another thing that impresses us, he is fashion savvy. From his bespoke suits to his well tailored traditional attires. His fashion game is essentially “on fleek” From the time of his campaign until he assumed the presidency and even as president, pictures of him oozing freshness abound. Not only is he a leader in the political space, he’s a leader in the fashion space.
President Buhari inspires us and it is only proper that on #MotivationMonday, we make our president, motivator and swag master our MCM!