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Lagos Extends Okada Ban to 9 More Local Government Areas

… Promises Livelihood Support for Willing Riders

ROTIMI ASHER

Lagos State Government has extended a ban on the activities of commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, to four more Local Government Areas (LGAs) and six Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).

The Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has also directed enforcement teams to, effective from September 1, 2022, fully implement the proscription order and bust erring riders across the councils listed in the Okada ban.

The additional places are Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Somolu and Mushin Local Government Areas. The Development Area Councils are Ikosi-Isheri LCDA, Agboyi-Ketu LCDA, Isolo LCDA, Bariga LCDA, and Odi-Olowo LCDA.

The latest pronouncement came about three months after Sanwo-Olu ordered a total restriction on Okada in six LGAs, comprising Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, and Apapa, as well as LCDAs under them.

This brings it to 25 councils of the 57 councils in which Okada activities have been proscribed.

Announcing the ban at a press conference held at the Government secretariat in Alausa, Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladehinde said, ‘‘The extension of the proscription order was a move by the State Government to sustain the gains recorded in the ongoing action against Okada operations in the State.”

He said, ”Okada accidents and fatalities had reduced by 63.7 per cent across the 15 local councils where the first phase of ban had been enforced, stressing that the development also significantly brought down the rate of crimes associated with motorcycles.”

According to him, this led to resolutions reached at a Stakeholders Forum, last Tuesday, with interest groups in which the participants unanimously urged the Government to make the Okada ban State-wide.

 He said: “the Ministry in conjunction with the inter-ministerial committee on Okada, having critically accessed these resolutions and the challenges of Okada operations on the security architecture of the State, recommended to Mr. Governor not to go back on the already laid down phase ban in a bid to sustain the gains.

“Based on the apparent positive impact of the ban and the resolution of the Stakeholders’ Forum, Mr. Governor has approved the ban of Okada in another four LGAs and their respective five LCDAs for the second phase of the total ban, in addition to the on-going ban in the six LGAs and their respective LCDAs.

”The State Government advised residents to embrace alternative means of transportation for their journey, noting that the State had provided safe and sustainable First- and Last-Mile Transport Scheme, BRT Scheme, e-hailing taxi Scheme and other acceptable means for the safety of commuters.”

Oladehinde disclosed that 7,500 motorcycles had been impounded and crushed in the ongoing enforcement, while resistance had dropped sharply. He issued a stern warning to riders who may want to flout the proscription order, stressing that the enforcement would not be sparing.

The Commissioner said the State Government had interventions in place to empower the affected Okada riders as an alternative means of livelihood, urging them to embrace the intervention programmes which are being coordinated by six Government ministries and also Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF).

He said: “it is important to reiterate the State Government’s commitment to the safety, security of lives and properties in the State. In exercising this, any motorcycle impounded will be crushed and the process will be made public.”

“Both riders and passengers arrested on proscribed routes will be made to face the full wrath of the law in line with the provision of Section 46, sub-section 1, 2 & 3 of the Transport Sector Reform Law (TSRL), 2018.”

On his part, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, observed that the last Tuesday meeting with stakeholders reviewed the enforcement action taken since the total ban, pointing out that the feedback from the public informed further measures to curtail the activities of the commercial motorcycles.

While stating that the ban enforcement will be supervised by the Office of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, he said, ”Okada riding remained alien to the State’s integrated transportation master plan.”

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