Communication, Innovation, Education & Development Consultant and Career Strategist as well as NIPR ACT Programme Administrator & Authorized Manager (Nigeria) of Oxford College of Marketing(UK), Peter Ogudoro in this interview opined that ban on Okada operators in the State is not well thought-out.
Obviously, the government is interested in moving Lagos to the acclaimed mega city status and their aspiration is to make it as clean and habitable as possible for people who live in Lagos. But, I think that, it was not well thought out.
It is as if it wasn’t the ideal step to take but we are looking at timing. It was too sudden especially when it is taken from the angle of the impact on the quality of lives of the Okada operators and even the commuters.
Because alternative arrangement has not been made for the people who have been used to that system as livelihood and for commuters have seen them as a major source of transportation within the State.
So, you find a lot of people trekking long distances because they don’t have alternative means to get home.
Putting that together, you will discover that the gains you are trying to achieve by banning okada will be wiped off almost completely by hours you use on the road and social consequences on the means of livelihood.
When is the right time?
It will be that time when the government would have given the people involve enough time to retrain and find the financial resources to move into other means of livelihood.
But, obviously, that has not been done, people especially when we look at the quality of education we give in Nigeria, the people cannot suddenly move into another environment to find means of sustenance. So, most Nigerians lack skills.
For instance, carpentry is an easy approach to find a means of livelihood. And the right time will be when the people have been given opportunity via an enabling platform.
There are lots of other areas that the people can be assisted to make more money than riding Okada.
Then, there is also the need for public enlightenment. Getting the people to understand that it is not through primitive measures but it is also about saving their lives.
Our governments here are always too sudden in the way they implement things. We have been on air talking about what they are doing and how it should be done.
We must recognise that the average Nigerian who don’t have access to Television. Some of them who have access to television cannot cope with the level of English language put to them by the government officers and that is a huge challenge.
So, the right time will be when people have the opportunity to acquire, re-train and be assisted by way of funding to be given new life, so that they are not pushed into crime.