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Lagos: No going back on Okada ban, govt insists

The Lagos State Government has declared that there is no going back on its decision to ban activities of commercial motorcyclists, popularly known as okada riders, in some Local Governments (LGs) and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state.

The state government yesterday, reiterated its directive to enforcement teams to fully implement the proscription order placed on the activities of okada riders, and bust any of them that errs across the councils listed as from September 1.

Speaking, at a Press Briefing organised by the Inter-ministerial committee on Okada ban at Press Centre, Alausa Ikeja, the state Commissioner for Transportation, Frederic Oladeinde, directed law enforcement agencies and security personnel to ensure total compliance.

The commissioner implored the general public to comply with the order, as both the rider and passenger are both liable to three (3) years in prison if prosecuted, while their motorcycles will be impounded and crushed in public view, in line with the provision of Section 46, sub-section 1, 2 & 3 of the Transport Sector Reform Law (TSRL), 2018.

On August 18, 2022, the state government extended the ban on commercial motorcycles to four LGAs and five LCDAs.

And the latest pronouncement came about three months after the governor had earlier ordered a total restriction on okada in six LGAs: Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland and Apapa, as well as LCDAs under them.

The latest order on the operations of the commercial motorcyclists affects the following LGAs: Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Somolu and Mushin, and LCDAs: Ikosi-Isheri, Agboyi-Ketu, Isolo, Bariga and Odi-Olowo.

This makes it 25 councils out of the 57 councils in which okada activities have been banned.

Oladeinde said:”​Before the last briefing, we had earlier reviewed the achievements and challenges encountered by the state government through public engagement at a Stakeholders Forum tagged “Okada Ban: What Next” which was held on Tuesday, August 16, 2022.

“In line with these developments, the Ministerial Committee on Okada is here again to further re-emphasise the need for total compliance with the Okada ban as the commencement date of September 1, 2022, draws near.

“As a responsive government, we are not leaving the affected passengers who patronise these okadas stranded without any viable means of transportation, that is why we have made available alternative and sustainable means of transportation such as the First and Last Mile Bus Transport Scheme, the BRT Scheme, the Lagos e-hailing taxi Scheme (LAGRIDE) and other acceptable modes of transportation to go about their daily activities.

“As for the riders, we have also made available existing interventions aimed at empowering citizens as an alternative means of livelihood. These interventions are coordinated by the following MDAs: 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”); Ministry of Agriculture (Agric YES); Ministry of Education (CodeLagos Scheme) and many others.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, the decision and position of the government on okada are very clear, and we are not compromising on this decision which is to further consolidate on the achievements made so far with particular reference to decrease in accident and crime rates as well as the return of sanity to our communities within the state.”

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