LAGOS, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- The Lagos State Government has reaffirmed that commercial motorcycles popularly called ‘okada’ are still prohibited in 10 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and 15 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the State.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Sola Giwa, made this disclosure during a tour in several restricted areas of the state where a significant number of motorcycle riders (okada riders) have started operations.
In a statement earlier today, Giwa reaffirmed the State Government’s ban on okada in the local councils which include; Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Somolu, Mushin, Apapa, Ikeja, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, Surulere and Eti-Osa, as well as the Local Council Development Areas under them which are; Ojodu, Onigbongbo, Lagos Island East, Yaba and Coker Aguda.
With others at; Itire-Ikate, Eti-Osa West, Iru Victoria Island, Ikoyi-Obalende, Ikosi-Isheri, Agboyi-Ketu, Isolo, Ejigbo, Bariga and Odi-Olowo, the Special Adviser urged both riders and passengers to keep off.
Giwa urged compliance by the general public as both riders and passengers are both liable to 3 years in prison if apprehended and prosecuted, with the motorcycles impounded and crushed in the public view.
He revealed that the appropriate punishment is in line with the provision of Section 46, sub-section 1, 2 & 3 of the Transport Sector Reform Law (TSRL), 2018.
While soliciting for support on government policies by all and sundry, the Special Adviser noted that despite the available existing interventions and alternatives provided for okada operators which were expected to cushion the effect of the ban on their livelihood, the uncooperative riders have refused to take advantage of them.
Highlighting some of the viable alternatives made available for the operators by the state government, Giwa stated that the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA); (vocational training), Ministry of Wealth Creations and Employment; (internship programmes), Office of Civic Engagement, Office of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) (Loan for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises MSMEs), Lagos Economic Acceleration Programme “LEAP”) and the Ministry of Agriculture (Agric YES) are all trade support for the riders.
He also said the State Government’s First and Last Mile Bus Transport Scheme, the BRT Scheme, the Lagos e-hailing taxi Scheme (LAGRIDE) and other sustainable modes of transportation were also part of interventions provided to minimize the inconveniences of the motoring public in executing their daily activities.
According to the Special adviser, the position of Government on okada is very clear, as there is no going back especially with the achievements made so far in the decrease in accident and crime rates as well as the return of sanity to the communities within the State.
Giwa furher added that all Security formations in partnership with the State Government including the Nigeria Police Force, the Army, Navy and Air force are still on ground to sustain enforcement on all the banned corridors, as well as the State Traffic Management Authority, (LASTMA) and the Anti-Okada Squad.