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Commuters call for improved transport system as Lagos ‘okada’ ban takes effect

Many commuters in Lagos had a hard time moving to their various destinations on Saturday as the government ban on commercial motorcycles (okada) and tricycles took effect in Nigeria’s commercial capital.
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They have therefore called on the Lagos State government to improve the mass transit system to cushion the effect of the ban.
Lagos is notorious for its intractable traffic jam and many residents resort to especially commercial motorcycles to move around.
But on Saturday, okada riders and tricycle operators shunned main bus-stops to escape arrest, according to BusinessDay findings.
Many of them moved inwards into inner streets to operate, leaving commuters stranded.
At Mushin bus-top, along Agege Motor Road, the hub of motorcycle riders who mostly take longer distances, was clear.
The same pattern was observed along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway where the busstops were crowded with commuters as those who would usually take a bike were now waiting for a bus. Commuters were thus compelled to spend longer times than usual at busstops.
“I couldn’t get Marwa (tricycle) to work this morning around past 5am. I wasted about 30 minutes before I struggled to get one,” Ehis Odekhian, a resident of Mushin, said.
“I don’t know what will happen on Monday,” she said.
Officers of the Lagos State Task Force team were seen moving about identified local government areas and bridges to enforce compliance.
“We are not against the ban,” said Austin Ede, a motor spare parts dealer at ASPMDA market located at the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex. “What we are saying is if you ban okada, provide viable alternatives for us.”

 

TEMITAYO AYETOTO 

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