June 15, 2024

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Okada ban: Traditional Ruler Urges FG to Prohibit Importation

3 min read

Mojisola Lawal

Following the Lagos State Government extension of ban on commercial motorcycles popularly called Okada to four additional Local Government Areas and five Local Council Development Areas, traditional ruler in Otumara community of Lagos Mainland Local Government of the state, High Chief Kehinde Kalejaiye, has urged the Federal Government to prohibit importation of motorcycles into the country.


The State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu had in May announced indefinite and total ban on the operations of commercial motorcycles on highways and six Local Government areas and nine LCDAs bringing the total number of Local Government Areas to 10 and LCDAs to 14.


Reacting to the September 1, 2022 commencement date for the full enforcement of the prohibition, Kalejaiye said, although the decision to ban Okada trade in the state is in the interest of residents, he argued, the State Government crushing seized motorcycles must be reassessed.


He argued that it is economically wise to add motorcycles import to the list of prohibited goods rather than wasting away millions of investors funds through crushing.

He stated that prohibiting importation of Okada will completely eradicate the trade and save investors in the trade of millions of naira being lost when their motorcycles are impounded.


He said, “We know how tensed the state of security in the state is but the additional ban on the Okada trade will further worsen the situation. As much as I hold that the ban is for the collective interest of residents in Lagos state, there is need for the government to consider the plights of army of unemployed graduates and investors in the trade whose millions of naira are perished whenever the seized motorcycles are crushed.


Meanwhile, the rate of unemployment factored by the ban kept increasing with every crush thereby compounding the already tensed security situation in the state.”


While suggesting a lasting and more humane solution to the ban, Kalejaiye urged the Federal Government to prohibit the importation of motorcycle into the country.


This, according to him, will drastically reduce the influx of motorcycles imported into the country while the numbers in operation will gradually fade away and also allow the country to develop local automobile industry.


“I want to call on the Federal Government to consider placing a ban on the importation of motorcycle into the country. The FG should include motorcycle to the list of 25 prohibited items. When this is considered, the booming Okada trade will dwindle and by extension, insecurity will be partly addressed.


And those businessmen that are considering investing in the trade will channel their funds on more legitimate trades rather than wasting them on motorcycle business. An outright prohibition of importation is the solution to the menace created by Okada riding. Also, the likes of Innoson Automobile and Lanre Shittu Motors can develop alternatives that are specifically tailored for our needs and fill the unemployment vacuum created by the prohibition.


The Local Government Areas and LCDAs where the operations of Okada are restricted include Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island, Apapa, Kosofe Local Government, Oshodi-Isolo Local Government, Shomolu Local Government, and Mushin Local Government.


Others are Ikosi-Isherri LCDA, Agboyi-Ketu LCDA, Isolo LCDA, Bariga LCDA, and Odi-Olowo LCDA.

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