The Proposed New Lagos State Danfo Bus
Lagos Sate Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode while addressing journalist back in March, said that the proposed Bus Reform Initiative was aimed at giving Lagosians an integrated public transportation system and it would kick start this year with a sinking fund of N30billion.
He said the Bus Reform Initiative is a three-year plan aimed at introducing over 5000 air-conditioned buses to replace the yellow commercial buses, popularly called Danfo, which according to him, was no longer befitting for the State’s mega city status.
While speaking on how he intends to fund the initiative, the Governor said that his administration would launch a public transportation infrastructure bond of N100billion that would span between seven to ten years, revealing that the Government already has N30billion sinking fund; he intend to add N1billion to The States N29billion refund of the Paris Club Loan paid by The Federal Government.
“By the time we have N30billion as sinking fund to drive the bus initiative against the bond of N100billion that we want to put into the market, there will be that credibility and credence that the bond will drive itself and that is the whole idea,” Governor Ambode said.
He also said, aside the bond, his administration also intends to give out franchise to interested stakeholders in multiple of 50 buses each, 100 buses, 200 buses and above, explaining that what is required is a down payment of 25 per cent of the buses.
He, however, said that the State Government expects the Danfo drivers, who would be absorbed into the new initiative to adapt accordingly, saying that the transport unions would be expected to take ownership to ensure sustainability.
“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."