Lagos State Government, on Thursday, extended the ban on the operations of commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, to four more local government areas (LGAs) and six local council development areas (LCDAs).
Effective from September 1, 2022, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu directed enforcement teams to fully implement the proscription order and bust erring riders across the councils listed in the Okada ban.
The affected LGAs include Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Somolu and Mushin, while the LCDAs are Ikosi-Isheri LCDA, Agboyi-Ketu LCDA, Isolo LCDA, Bariga LCDA, and Odi-Olowo.
The latest action 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 now brings to 25 (out of 57 councils in Lagos) the number of councils where Okada operations have been proscribed.
Announcing the ban at a press conference held at the state secretariat, Alausa, Frederic Oladehinde, the commissioner for transportation, said the extension of the restriction was to sustain the gains recorded in the ongoing action against Okada operations in the state.
The commissioner said Okada accidents and fatalities had reduced by 63.7 percent across the 15 local councils where the first phase of the ban had been enforced, stressing that the development also significantly brought down the rate of crimes associated with motorcycles.
This, Oladehinde said, led to resolutions during a stakeholders’ forum, last Tuesday, with various interest groups who unanimously asked the government to make the Okada ban state-wide.
“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 the 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, the 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 a 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 spared.
Oladeinde 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 being coordinated by six government ministries and also Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF).
“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.”
Gbenga Omotoso, the commissioner for information and strategy, observed that last Tuesday’s 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.