Oyo to register ‘okada’ operators

The Oyo State government has concluded plans to issue identification numbers and registration jackets to commercial motorcyclists, popularly known as Okada riders, in the state.

The registration will help in planning properly for the security architecture of the state, in the long run as well as help regulate the influx of the operators into the state.

Musibau Babatunde, commissioner for budget and economic planning, who made this known in Ibadan on Thursday during a stakeholders’ meeting with over 100 commercial riders’ association leaders, said the registration was part of the government’s drive to ensure effectiveness of the ongoing state-wide residents’ registration programme.

Musibau, said “states across the south-west have been banning operations of commercial motorcyclists, but we know that will have its own socio-economic challenges. So rather than banning them, we felt it is pertinent to know the number of bike-riders in the state and use that for our security architecture.

He added that there are multi-dimensional benefits accruable to the registration exercise, both for the motorcyclists and the state, in terms of security and economic planning.

Wasiu Olatubosun, the commissioner for information, culture and tourism, also emphasised that the registration will be free, adding that the proactive approach to regulate the activities of commercial motorcyclists by the Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration, was in order to prevent breakdown of law and order.

Olatubosun explained that the Oyo State government has made necessary arrangements to update the database of the riders in conjunction with its consultant.

“We will set up a task force consisting of both the union and other relevant agencies that will make sure that unregistered riders don’t operate within the state,” he said.

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On his part, the special assistant to the governor on ICT and e-governance, Bayo Akande, said the registration process was initiated by the government to distinguish every rider operating in the state. This, he said, has become imperative in order to curb criminality and other social vices.

According to him, the registration exercise actually commenced months back at every local government and office of the Oyo State Road Transport Management Authority.

All is now set to provide numbered jackets, in order to identify riders who are duly registered with the state, he said, adding that part of the dividends of the registration was the provision of health insurance and other palliative for riders in the state.

Responding on behalf of the commercial bike riders, Yusuf Muritala commended the Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration for not considering a ban on their activities.

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