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Lagos on its own, FG won’t ban okada, tricycles –Minister

At a time the Lagos State Government has concluded plans to industrially crush and recycle over 4,000 motorcycles and some tricycles in confirmation of the prevailing ban on select routes and axis in the state, the Federal Government has doused the anxiety, saying it not ban the operations of okada (commercial motorcycle) and tricycles in the country.

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi made the pronouncement, stressing that banning okada and tricycle riders will lead to massive job losses in Nigeria.

He said such bans without a credible alternative may affect the nation’s economy negatively and further assured that the current government would not want to associate itself with such a move, despite calls by some persons for the outright ban of the operations of okada riders.

Speaking at the 2017 Amalgamated Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners, Repairers and Riders Association of Nigeria’s lecture themed; ‘The role of tricycles and motorcycles in transport development,’ Ameachi, admitted that he even used okada to go work as a speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

He said rather than placing a ban on their operations, the best policy would be to set rules and regulations that would guild the operators.

According to him, “Majority of people is happy that you take them from one point to the other; the only problem is that people believe you are reckless. Before, when you came newly, the number of accidents and the rate at which people were dying and losing their legs seemed to be very high but now, it has gone down.

“People think you are reckless, they think you disobey road signs, you are impatient and you park anywhere you see. But in all these, I don’t think okada should be banned. It won’t be nice to ban your services because we know the implications, which this will have not just on you but also on our national economy,” the Minister averred.