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By NBF News
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Eighteen months after deploying a fleet of Peugeot 406 cars to the streets to flag off what it called unique and professional cab services, Metro Taxi recently took stock of its activities so far, saying it has done well even in the face of layers of challenges.

Speaking during a chat with the motoring press in Lagos, the Managing Director, Niyi Oguntoyibo, listed the rise in the pump price of petrol, bad roads and reluctance of the banks to extend loan facilities to organized private taxi operators, among the issues inhibiting smooth progress in the business.

Oguntoyibo, however, disclosed that a total of 150 new cars had just been added to its fleet.

The cars comprising largely Kia Cerato sedan with automatic transmission and Peugeot 407, are part of the expansion programme of the company priding itself on operating 'the neatest, safety-conscious and well-maintained taxis'. The Managing Director who spoke while inaugurating the cars, said the injection of the vehicles into the fleet was in line with Metro Taxi's vision to redefine the transportation business in Lagos when the company made a debut in October, 2010.

'Metro Taxi is today the leading taxi services provider in Lagos and is a wholly Nigerian-based organisation. Lagos is our metropolis and we are owning it and claiming it. We are (taking)adding additional 150 taxis to our fleet as we want to be the preferred taxi of the city dwellers. 'We started out with manually-driven cars but all the new 150 cars have automatic transmission so that our pilots could drive through the Lagos traffic with ease.

'Our successes in the past 18 months include improvement in our meter billing system, as well as in our logistics as you can now call and have a taxi to pick you up right at your doorsteps within 15 minutes,' Oguntoyinbo remarked. The event was also used to honour three of the company's 'pilots' for distinguishing themselves in their relationship with the customers and the promotion of the Metro Taxi brand. Oguntoyimbo said his company was the only company in Africa with dispatch technology',stressing that Metro Taxi had rendered efficient services to ECOWAS and Lagos State Government.

'The meter is our identity. We are the only taxi system in Africa with dispatch technology. We can track our taxis, see their speed and what is going on in the cars. This is to protect both our assets and our customers. 'The safety of our passengers is very important to us and we've got an insurance cover to the tune of N250,000 for a passenger in case of accidents with N1 million cover for our driver,' he further disclosed.