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) across the State is still in force.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Hon. Sola Giwa disclosed this recently while on a tour of some restricted areas within the State, where large numbers of motorcyclists (okada riders) had resumed operations.
He reaffirmed 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, as well as the Local Council Development Areas under them including Ojodu, Onigbongbo, Lagos Island East, Yaba and Coker-Aguda.
Others, according to him are Itire-Ikate, Eti-Osa West, Iru Victoria Island, Ikoyi-Obalende, Ikosi-Isheri, Agboyi-Ketu, Isolo, Ejigbo, Bariga and Odi-Olowo.
While urging both riders and passengers to desist from contravening the ban, the Special Adviser implored the general public to comply as both the riders and passengers are liable to three years in prison if apprehended and prosecuted.
He added that motorcycles impounded will be crushed in line with the provision of Section 46, sub-section 1, 2 & 3 of the Transport Sector Reform Law (TSRL), 2018.
Giwa, therefore solicited the support of residents towards ensuring full compliance with all government policies, noting 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.
He revealed that some of the viable alternatives have been made available for the operators by the State Government through the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), Ministry of Wealth Creations and Employment, Office of Civic Engagement, Office of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Lagos Economic Acceleration Programme (LEAP) and the Ministry of Agriculture (Agric YES) among others.
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 minimise the inconveniences of the motoring public in executing their daily activities.
Giwa averred that the position of the state government on okada is very clear, stressing that there is no going back in order to consolidate on the achievements made so far in the decrease in the accident and crime rates as well as the return of sanity to the communities within the State.
The Special Adviser averred that the Security Agencies who have been partnering with the State Government, including the Nigeria Police Force, the Army, Navy and Air force, are still prepared to sustain enforcement on all the banned corridors, this is in addition to the operations of the State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and the Anti-Okada Squad.