BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI & MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO
LAGOS—As part of efforts to cushion the effects of the restriction on activities of commercial motorcycle operators otherwise known as ‘okada riders’, chairmen of the 57 Local Governments and Local Council Development Area, LCDAs, in Lagos State, under the eagies of The Conference of Chairmen of LGAs and LCDAs, have offered to provide soft loans to the affected riders to enable them key into the transport master plan of the state government.
The chairmen have, therefore, directed relevant officials across the councils to enforce the Road Traffic Law on the restriction on the operations of commercial motorcycle operators.
Speaking on behalf of the council Chairmen, Mr. Hakeem Sulaiman, of Bariga LCDA, expressed the group’s support for the restriction on okada riders from plying 475 roads in the state, adding that the restriction will not affect the councils’ Internally Generated Revenue, IGR.
They said the decision was in the overall interest of security of the people of the state and asked the riders not to only comply but avoid being misguided on the order by disgruntled elements in the society.
Sulaimon disclosed that the 30 armed robbery cases recorded between July and October this year within the metropolis, 22 were carried out through the use of Okada.
He also explained that 619 Okada accidents were recorded in the state in the last two years in which 107 people lost their lives while 512 others sustained varying degrees of injuries.
Sulaiman said: “By interpretation, this means that 73 per cent of armed robbery cases in Lagos State involve motorcycles and tricycles. No sane government or people can sit back, watch and maintain a criminal silence over this menace to the society.”
The chairman, therefore, appealed to the state government to encourage Okada riders who have embraced the restriction order with loan facility to procure buses and cabs in order to key into the state transport master plan.