By Olasunkanmi Akoni
The Lagos State Government has reiterated that the ban on commercial motorcycles, popularly called ‘okada’ in 10 Local Government Areas, LGAs, and 15 Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs, in the metropolis still persists.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Sola Giwa, declared this during an unscheduled monitoring of some restricted areas within the state, where large numbers of okada riders had returned.
Reaffirming the State Government’s ban on okada in the Local Government Areas which include; Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Somolu, Mushin, Apapa, Ikeja, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, Surulere and Eti-Osa.
These includes 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 Transport Special Adviser urged both riders and passengers to keep off.
Giwa therefore, urged the general public to comply as both the riders and passengers are both liable to three years in prison if apprehended and prosecuted, with their motorcycles impounded and crushed in the public view, in line with the provision of Section 46, sub-section 1, 2 and 3 of the Transport Sector Reform Law (TSRL), 2018.
While soliciting for support on government policies by residents, the Special Adviser noted that despite the available existing interventions and viable alternatives provided for okada operators which were expected to cushion the effect of the ban on their livelihood, the recalcitrant 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.
Giwa stressed, ‘The position of the government on okada is very clear, there is no going back in order to consolidate on the achievements made so far in the decrease in an accident and crime rates as well as the return of sanity to the communities within the state.”
He added that the Security formations who have been partnering with the State Government including the Nigeria Police Force, the Army, Navy and Air force are still on the ground to sustain enforcement on all the banned corridors, as well as the State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, and the Anti-Okada Squad.
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