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Commercial Motorbike Ban: Defaulting Riders, Passengers Risk Three Years Imprisonment, Lagos Warns

The enforcement of the second phase ban commences Thursday, September 1.

The Lagos State government has reaffirmed that its order on the ban of commercial motorcyclists, popularly referred to as okada in 10 local government areas of the state which takes effect from September 1 stands.

The State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde who said this on Wednesday, restated the readiness of the government to prosecute defaulters in line with the provision of Section 46, sub-section 1, 2 & 3 of the Transport Sector Reform Law (TSRL), 2018 of the state.

He said while the enforcement of the second phase ban commences Thursday, the government was poised to prosecute and jail, upon conviction, both the rider and passenger who are liable to three years in imprisonment.

The Commissioner said the state government has made available alternative means of transportation such as the First and Last Mile Bus Transport Scheme, the BRT Scheme, and the Lagos e-hailing taxi Scheme as a means of being sensitive to the yearnings of the citizenry.

Oladeinde reiterated that the Ministerial Committee on okada had re-emphasised 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.”

The government two weeks ago announced that okada operation had been banned in four local government areas of Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Somolu and Mushin while the six Local Council Development Areas are Ikosi-Isheri, Agboyi-Ketu, Isolo, Bariga, Odi-Olowo and Ejigbo.

In June, okada operation was banned in six Local Governments Areas of Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island, and Apapa with their respective nine Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) and all major bridges and highways in the State.

Members of the Motorcycle Operators Association of Lagos State (MOALS) had on Monday stormed Lagos’ seat of power, Alausa, urging the state Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to reconsider the recent decision to effect the ban on okada operation in some parts of the state.

Leading the protest, Tijani Pekins MOALS Lagos State Zone C. Chairman, had 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.

Segun James

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