Lagos State Government on Wednesday reaffirmed its order on the ban of commercial motorcyclists, popularly referred to as Okada in 10 Local Governments area of the State.
While the enforcement of the second phase ban commence September 1st (today), the government is poised to prosecute and jail, upon conviction, both the rider and passenger who are liable to three years imprisonment.
According to the State Commissioner for Transportation, Frederic Oladeinde the readiness to prosecute is in line with the provision of Section 46, sub-section 1, 2 & 3 of the Transport Sector Reform Law (TSRL), 2018 of the State.
The affected four Local Governments announced two weeks ago are Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Somolu and Mushin while the six Local Council Development Areas are Ikosi-Isheri, Agboyi-Ketu, Isolo, Bariga, Odi-Olowo and Ejigbo.
The State Government had in June banned Okada in six Local Governments, LGs, and their respective nine Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs, which include all major bridges and highways of the State.
The six Local governments earlier announced are Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island and Apapa.
Speaking on Wednesday at a briefing in Ikeja, Lagos, the Commissioner said the State Government had made available alternative means of transportation such as the First and Last Mile Bus Transport Scheme, the BRT Scheme, the Lagos e-hailing taxi Scheme as a means of being sensitive to the demands of the citizenry.
Members of the Motorcycle Operators Association of Lagos State, MOALS, had on Monday stormed Lagos seat of power, Alausa, urging the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to reconsider the recent decision to effect ban on Okada riders operation in some parts of the State.
Leading the protest, Comrade Tijani Pekins MOALS Lagos State Zone C Chairman appealed to the state government to engage the association and work out modalities to save millions of members who according to him their livelihoods would be grossly affected by the enforcement of the ban.
In a letter addressed to the Governor, titled ‘A Passionate Appeal to Provide Alternatives for the Imminent Loss of Millions of Jobs’, the protesters pleaded for reconsideration.
Oladeinde reiterated that the Ministerial Committee on Okada has once again re-emphasised on the need for total compliance with the Okada ban as the commencement begins.
According to him, “For the purpose of emphasis and clarification, the State Government has extended the ban of Okada Operations to the following Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas in a bid to further promote and ensure the Safety and Security of lives and properties in the State
“As a responsive government, we are not leaving the affected passengers who patronise these okadas stranded without any viable means of transportation, that is why we have made available alternative and sustainable means of transportation such as the First and Last Mile Bus Transport Scheme, the BRT Scheme, the Lagos e-hailing taxi Scheme (LAGRIDE) and other acceptable modes of transportation to go about their daily activities.
“As for the riders, we have also made available existing interventions aimed at empowering citizens as an alternative means of livelihood.
“These interventions are coordinated by the following MDAs: Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, WAPA;(vocational training)Ministry of Wealth Creations and Employment;(internship programmes)Office of Civic Engagement; Office of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, LSETF, (Loan for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs, Lagos Economic Acceleration Programme “LEAP”);Ministry of Agriculture (Agric YES);Ministry of Education (CodeLagos Scheme) and many others.
“The decision and position of government on okada is very clear, and we are not compromising on this decision which is to further consolidate on the achievements made so far with particular reference to decrease in Accident and Crime rates as well as the return of sanity to our communities within the State.
“The State Government has directed the Nigeria Police Force, and the Lagos Command with all relevant Stakeholders’ such as Army, Navy, Air force, other Security and Law enforcement formations within the State) to be complimented by the “Anti-Okada Squad”, be deployed to these new locations in a bid to stimulate seamless implementation and enforcement of the phase 2 ban of okada operations in the State.
“We implore the general public to comply as both the rider and passenger are both liable to three years in prison if prosecuted, while their motorcycles will be impounded and crushed in the public view, in line with the provision of Section 46, sub-section 1, 2 & 3 of the Transport Sector Reform Law, TSRL, 2018.
In a bid to have a seamless operation, the State Government made the following lines available to members of the public, 09038208154, 09169655855 , 09034810153 and 090330908260.