FG Urges States To Ban Commercial Motorcycle Operators

Okada-ridersState governments across the country and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been asked to ban the use of motorcycle as means of public transportation.

Commercial motorcycle, popularly called Okada, Achaba or going, is one of the most common and readily available means of transportation in most states of Nigeria and provides a means of livelihood for millions of Nigerians. But a proliferation of this means of transportation, which is largely unregulated, has led to avoidable loss of lives, permanent disabilities, environmental pollution and used as a quick get-away for criminals among others which led some states, including the FCT, to take the tough measure of banning their operations in state capitals and environs.

In a communiqué issued yesterday in Abuja at the end of the 13th Council meeting on transport held in Lagos, participants agreed for the Nigeria Inland Waterways Agency (NIWA) to establish an office at Alape in Ilaje local council of Ondo State.

This gesture, according to the communiqué, was to strengthen operations of the agency and ensure safety of the waterways.

It reads, “The federal and state governments should facilitate the transformation of the road sector through the PPP Initiative and where tolling is part of that strategy, ensure the provision of an alternative route

“States should discourage the use of commercial motorcycles as a means of public transportation.

“NIWA should consider the establishment of Inland River Port at Alape, Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State for implementation in line with its development plans for the development of Inland Waterways”.

The council resolved to absorb indigenous freight forwarders to take part in government contracts which have freight components.

In the same vein, the Federal Ministry of Works and Transport were charged with the task of facilitating the construction of bridges around interstate corridors in order to increase span of the nation’s highways.

According to the council, laws which restrict state governments from embarking on federal infrastructures need to be reviewed.

It further stated that “state governments are encouraged to establish functional Vehicle Inspection Offices (VIO) to ensure proper road safety enforcement, drivers’ license processing and road worthiness testing.

“Council resolved that all parties should ensure full implementation and respect for the tripartite arrangement in place for the Unified National Drivers Licence Scheme, as it relates to states and FRSC such that the process starts and ends with the state accredited agency.

“Council resolved that NIWA should consider the dredging of shallow areas of inland waterways, provide navigational aids and remove wrecks littering the inland waterways”.