The menace of commercial motorcycle operators, popularly called Okada, on the road and the recurring road traffic crashes sometimes resulting in loss of lives as a result of recklessness on the part of the operators is an indication of failure of the transportation system in Nigeria, the Corp Marshal of the Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC) Boboyemi Oyeyemi, has said.
Speaking as a guest speaker Wednesday at the maiden transport lecture series titled ‘Transportation And Road Safety Management: Achieving The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) In Nigeria organised by the School of Transport, Lagos State University, Ojo, the FRSC Corp Marshal said that only big city commercial buses are ideal for the movement of people in a smart city like Lagos.
He said it was an aberration and strange that in an era and time like this, many Nigerians have resigned to fate patronising okada riders and risking their lives on a daily basis due to the glaring failure of the country’s transportation system, occasioned by complete failure of the road infrastructure in many parts of the country.
Describing Lagos as a metropolitan city with a fast growing population, he lamented that there was no commensurate infrastructural facility to cater for the increasing number of residents in the state.
Oyeyemi called for the utilisation of other modes of transportation like a functional rail and water transportation, adding that paying a great attention on these sectors would prolong the life span of the roads as well as curtail the nuisance caused by the untrained, unprofessional and unregulated okada commercial riders.
Although the number of okada crashes was not disclosed, the corps marshal also lamented that apart from the fatalities there are also other security implications whereby many unscrupulous elements are using motorcycles to commit crimes, including kidnapping.