THE Lagos State Police Command has clarified that delivery and logistics riders and owners of power bikes are exempted from the state government’s ban on commercial motorcycles.
The government had on Wednesday placed a ban on commercial motorcyclists, widely known as okada riders, from operating in six local government areas of the state.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu listed the affected areas as Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island and Apapa.
Sanwo-Olu said that the ban would take effect from June 1, 2022.
“This is the phased banning that we are going to be embarking on so that others will know that in a short while it is either they get out or look for something else to do,” he said.
In an interview on Channels Television on Thursday, the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Abiodun Alabi, explained that residents who operate motorcycles for courier services or other private dealings would not be affected by the ban.
“The okada ban does not affect couriers, but the couriers will not carry passengers. We will have to make sure they are couriers and not pretending to be one,” Alabi said.
He added, “The other officers who are okada owners must be uniformed personnel who are going to their various places of work.
“Those who own power-bikes are not affected, because it’s not meant for commercial purposes.”
Although the recent ban was not the first time the government would be announcing such a restriction, Alabi said enforcement of the ban this time would be more thorough.
The police commissioner acknowledged that banning okadas might increase crime rates but said the police force was prepared for such eventuality.
He said, “We know that banning the okada riders can actually increase crime rate and we are not unmindful of that and we are already putting in place a lot of strategies to contend with it.
“We know that it will send a lot of them to unemployment. We are aware of that and are preparing for it.”