THE Lagos State Government has extended the ban on the activities of commercial motorcycles, popularly known as okada, to four more local government areas (LGAs) and five local council development areas (LCDAs).
A statement issued today by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Gboyega Akosile, said the enforcement would be effective from September 1, 2022.
The statement said that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had directed enforcement teams to implement the order.
The new LGAs affected by the ban are Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Somolu and Mushin, while the LCDAs are Ikosi-Isheri, Agboyi-Ketu, Isolo, Bariga, and Odi-Olowo.
The governor had on May 18, 2022 ordered a total restriction on okada operations in six LGAs, comprising Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland and Apapa, as well as the LCDAs under them. The ban took effect from June 1, 2022.
The latest development brings to 25 councils of the 57 councils in which the state government has proscribed commercial motorcycle operations.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Frederic Oladehinde, said that accidents and fatalities caused by commercial motorcycles had reduced by 63.7 per cent across the 15 local councils where the first phase of the ban had been enforced.
Oladeinde was quoted to have said, “The Ministry, in conjunction with the inter-ministerial committee on okada, having critically assessed 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.”
He 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.
Regarding the welfare of the riders, the commissioner said the state government had interventions in place to empower the affected ‘okada’ riders as an alternative means of livelihood.
He urged them to embrace the intervention programmes, which are being coordinated by six government ministries and the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF).