How we will phase out ‘Okada’ in Lagos – Sanwo-Olu
Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos State, has said that the state government was adopting a cautious approach in phasing out commercial motorcycles popularly called ‘Okada’ in the state.
Amid continued complaints from Lagosians, the governor had insisted on a total ban on Okada operation in some areas in the state, taking effect from June 1, so that the First and Last Mile Buses (FLM) initiated as an alternative means of transportation could take over the inner roads.
But speaking Monday, during an interview on Arise TV, the governor said the phasing out would be gradual so that it can provide alternative sources of income to riders and means of transportation to passengers.
Sanwo-Olu said the decision was taken after a meeting with the association of riders, adding that the state was planning to acquire 5,000 First and Last Mile buses next year.
According to him, “We launched 500 units of First and Last Mile (FLM) buses few weeks ago and we are planning to increase to 5,000 next year. The buses will be deployed to communities as alternative means of transportation in addressing the security threat posed by commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada. All of the alternative plans are already in place.
“We have bought more buses in two years than we have done in several decades.
We have sat with the association of the riders and we are working together to ensure we engage their members in some areas”.
This is the second time in about a year that the Lagos state government is attempting to restrict the movement of commercial motorcycles in the state. Similar attempt was made last year but failed.
In the last few weeks, there have been several clashes between officers of the state enforcement task force team and commercial motorcycles across the state in a bid to enforce the restriction.