Gov. Sanwo-Olu has extended the ban on the operation of commercial motorcycles popularly called Okada to four more local councils and six local council development areas.
The Commissioner for Transport in Lagos, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde confirmed the extension at a press briefing on Thursday.
The commissioner said the extension was after a review of the earlier ban on commercial motorcycles operation in six local councils.
The additional councils where the total Okada ban is pronounced include Kosofe Local Government; Ikosi-Isherri LCDA and Agboyi-Ketu LCDA, Oshodi-Isolo Local Government; Isolo LCDA, Shomolu Local Government; Bariga LCDA and Mushin Local Government; Odi-Olowo LCDA.
The state government he said, took the decision in the best interest of the generality of the residents and for security reasons.
The commissioner said that after a review of the earlier and based on its apparent positive impact, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu approved the ban of Okada in another four councils and six LCDAs for the second phase of the total ban, in addition to the ongoing ban in the six councils and their respective LCDAs.
Oladeinde added: “For the purpose of emphasis, the state government is now banning Okada operations in a bid to further promote the safety and security of lives and properties in the state.
“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 such as 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.
“Furthermore, the state government’s existing interventions aimed at empowering her citizens should equally be accessed as an alternative means of livelihood for the affected riders.
“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.”
Oladeinde stated that in view of the foregoing, the state government has directed the Nigeria Police Force, and the Lagos Command with all relevant stakeholders including the Army, Navy, Air force, and other Security and Law enforcement formations within the State to be complimented by the “Anti-Okada Squad” that will be deployed to these new locations in a bid to stimulate seamless implementation and enforcement of the phase two 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 and 0903309082615,” Oladeinde said.
Sanwo-Olu had in May banned the operation of commercial motorcycles on highways and six local governments and nine LCDAs. The governor announced that the ban is “indefinite and total”.
The six local governments listed by the governor are Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island, and Apapa. The ban followed the February 2020 restriction placed on the activities of commercial motorcycles.
Sanwo-Olu said the Government took the decision in line with the State’s Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018 to immediately address the chaos and menace created by the operations of Okada in the listed areas. He told the police to enforce the order without compromise.
He said, “After a critical review of our restriction on Okada activities in the first six Local Government Areas where we restricted them on February 1, 2020, we have seen that the menace has not abated. We are now directing a total ban on Okada activities across the highways and bridges within these six Local Government and their Local Council Development Areas, effective from June 1, 2022.
“This is a phased ban we are embarking on this period, and we expect that within the short while when this ban will be enforced, Okada riders in other places where their activities are yet to be banned can find something else to do. We have given the notice now and we expect all commercial motorcycles plying the routes in the listed councils and areas to vacate the highways before enforcement begins. The enforcement will be total.”
Following reactions that greeted the ban’s announcement, the governor on May 24 insisted that the state government would go ahead with its proposed ban on motorcycles, adding that security services and government are on the same page with respect to the banning of motorcycles in the selected areas of the state.
He also assured that the security architecture of the state would not be compromised in any way so that Lagos residents will continue to live their lives and do their business without any fear or favour.
The Governor said, “The security meeting gives us an opportunity for us to review the recent pronouncement on the future banning of Okada (motorcycles) in some selected local governments and LCDAs.
“We are able to put strategies in place. All of us were able to identify a lot of other things we need to do to embark on advocacy and ensure that we communicate effectively and efficiently to citizens. And that is why you see us giving out handbills in all of the major languages that we have in the country.
“There is a radio jingle being sent out to also communicate to people. I am also aware that there is a plan for advocacy on television stations as well.
“It is a people-driven initiative that we all agreed to live and to comport ourselves in a similar manner. And we know what has been the effect of this. So, I am happy that all of us, the security operatives and government are on the same page with this and we will also be going ahead with our plans.”