‘No plan to ban Okada, Keke riders nationwide’
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, says the Federal Government has no plan to ban commercial motorcycles, popularly called Okada or tricycles (Keke) as a means of transportation in the country.
The minister disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at a ceremony to mark the day of Amalgamated Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners, Riders and Repairers Association (ACTMORRA).
He, however, said that government would liaise with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to ensure proper training of riders at the state and local government levels.
This, he explained, was necessary against the backdrop of perceived dangers posed by motorcyclists to motorists and other road users Amaechi said government was focused on generating more employment in the country and as such, had no intention to outlaw commercial motorcycle operators that could worsen unemployment in the country.
The minister noted that the government recognises the role of commercial motorcyclists, especially their contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and would do everything possible to streamline the business to ensure that it was not hijacked by criminals.
He, however, commended the leadership of ACTMORRA headed by Alhaji Babangida Shehu, adding that government would consider disbursement of soft loans to members of the association to enable them acquire new motorcycles and tricycles.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Marine, Sanni Yerima, confirmed government’s plan to give soft loans to the operators to help them raise their contribution to the economy.
He added that plans are underway to ensure that the 12 million members of the association were protected by legislation.Senator Gbenga Ashafa, who was present at the event, advised the association to remain united and avoid rumour-mongering.
He advised the body to properly register and document its members to enable the National Assembly come up with a legislation that would aid their operations.