THE Lagos State Government has announced the ban of commercial motorcycle (popularly known as okada) operations in four more Local Governments (LGs) and six Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).
The Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde made the announcement on Thursday in Ikeja, during a news briefing on the Phase 2 Total Ban on Motorcycle Operations.
Oladeinde said that the ban, which would start from Sept. 1, was the second phase of the plan by the state government to gradually phase out okada in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the government has earlier pronounced the total ban of motorcycle operations in six LGs and the respective nine LCDAs under them, including all major bridges and highways, which had since taken effect from June 1.
Oladeinde said that the ban of their operations in another four LGs was in a bid for government to further promote the safety and security of lives and property in the state.
The four Local Governments and six LCDAs are Kosofe Local Government (Ikosi-Isheri LCDA and Agboyi-Ketu LCDA); Oshodi-Isolo Local Government (Isolo LCDA and Ejigbo LCDA); Shomolu Local Government (Bariga LCDA) and Mushin Local Government (Odi-Olowo LCDA).
The commissioner said that the state government held a stakeholders’ forum on Aug. 16, where issues relating to the ban and impact of okada operation on the lingering security challenges bedevilling the nation at large were discussed.
He said that the major resolution reached at the forum by the public was a state-wide ban on okada operations in the state.
”So, 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 phased 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 LGs and their respective six LCDAs for the 2nd Phase of the total ban, in addition to the ongoing ban in the six LGs and their respective LCDAs.
”This decision is to further consolidate on the achievements made so far with particular reference to decline in accident and crime rate, as well as to continue to bring sanity to our communities within the state.
”While the ban is in force, the public are advised to resort to alternative and sustainable means of transportation provided in the state to go about their daily activities,” Oladeinde said.
He said that residents should use the First and Last Mile Transport Scheme, the BRT Scheme, the Lagos e-hailing taxi Scheme (Lagride) and other acceptable modes of transportation to go about their daily activities.
The commissioner said that the government’s existing interventions aimed at empowering the residents should equally be accessed as alternative means of livelihood for the affected riders.
”These interventions are coordinated by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) for vocational training; the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment for internship programmes; Office of Civic Engagement; Office of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
”Also the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) for Loan for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and Lagos Economic Acceleration Programme (LEAP); the Ministry of Agriculture (Agric YES); the Ministry of Education for CodeLagos Scheme) and many others.”
He said that the state government had directed the police and other security and law enforcement formations within the State to enforce the fresh ban.
Oladeinde said they would be complemented by the “Anti-Okada Squad” that would be deployed to the new locations in a bid to stimulate seamless implementation and enforcement of the phase 2 ban in the state.
”It is important to inform Lagosians that our help lines are still very active, as your feedbacks will further enhance our strategies; as the protection of lives and properties is a collective responsibility of all.
”For complaint and feedback, kindly call any of the following lines: 09038208154; 09169655855; 09034810153 or 09033090826,” he said.
The commissioner said that motorcycles impounded would be crushed, and the process would be made public.
He said that the individuals (both riders and passengers alike) arrested would be made to face the full wrath of the law.
This, he said, was in line with the provision of Section 46, sub-section 1, 2 & 3 of the Transport Sector Reform Law (TSRL), 2018.
Oladeinde implored the general public to join hands together with the state government by complying with the decision.
He said it was geared towards combating the monster that okada operation had created, so that sanity could return to the state. (NAN)