The Lagos Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, has stated that the decision to ban commercial motorcycles (okada) and tricycles (keke) on major roads in Lagos, was not to punish anybody or restrict people from doing certain jobs.
He noted that the government only compulsorily acted due to deaths, and insecurity of children said to be caused by bikes and tricycles.
He said, “What this administration is doing is just to enforce the law that the House of Assembly passed which must have been vigorously scrutinized.”
He further added that “The ban is in accordance with the Lagos State Transport Reform Law of 2012; the law that has been in existence since 2012.”
He noted that the ban is meant to benefit the state through the reduction of accidents, and vices associated with the use of motorcycles and tricycles.
This decision, he stressed, was made after evaluating the rate of crime and accidents recorded in the state.
“The law says that commercial motorcycles and tricycles are restrained from plying major highways, certain roads, and all bridges.
“The law was revisited due to the scary figures of fatal accidents in the state as against the claims that the ban was targeted at anyone or group. He said: “We have 27 general hospitals in Lagos and close to 3,000 private hospitals.
”Using the statistics from the general hospitals alone, an average of 28 deaths related to Okada are recorded monthly. It is therefore important for us as a government to act.” Hamzat also said: “In the last three weeks, data from general hospitals shows that there were just seven accidents instead of 28 hitherto; who can say the 21 lives saved are not important,” he said.
He revealed that the state has witnessed a significant reduction in the rate of accidents on the Lagos roads as a result of the ban.
Meanwhile, to ease the effect of the ban on the riders, the deputy governor stated that provision for 17 skills acquisition centres and five technical schools have been made across the state.
He also revealed a partnership deal with organizations such as Elizade Motors, as the government’s effort to equip the people as well as to teach them how to do mechanical works.
“The Lagos State Government has provided 65 Bus Rapid Transit buses and 14 ferries on our waterways as alternatives,” he said.
The deputy governor disclosed that the state government would bring in 2,000 new taxis. He also added that the government is not just bringing vehicles; “we want to assemble them to create jobs for people here.”
Hamzat concluded that one of the plans of the government is also to create an enabling environment for the private sector to create jobs.