Lagos State Government’s ban on commercial motorcycles, popularly known as okada, will not be applicable to delivery/logistics riders and power bikes, the police said.
Lagos State Police Commissioner, Abiodun Alabi, on Thursday, explained that residents who operate motorcycles for courier services or other private dealings will not be affected by the Okada ban announced by governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Wednesday.
The state government Wednesday said it has banned commercial motorcyclists from operating in six local government areas of the state.
Sanwo-Olu said no commercial motorcyclists would be allowed to operate in any part of Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island and Apapa local councils from June 1.
“This is the phased banning that we are going to be embarking on so that others will know that in a short while it is either they get out or look for something else to do,” Sanwo-Olu said at a meeting with police area commanders and DPOS at the Lagos House, Ikeja.
The police commissioner during an interview on Channels Television explained that the Okada ban “does not affect couriers, but the couriers will not carry passengers. We will have to make sure they are couriers and not pretending to be one.”
Alabi noted that “the other officers who are okada owners must be uniformed personnel who are going to their various place of work.”
“Those who own power-bikes are not affected, because it’s not meant for commercial purpose,” Alabi said.
The recent ban is not the first time the government will announce such a restriction – it lacked enforcement in the listed local government areas.
Alabi, however, said enforcement of the ban this time will be more thorough.
The police commissioner acknowledged that banning okadas may increase crime rates but said the force is prepared for such eventuality.
“We know that banning the Okada riders can actually increase crime rate,” Alabi said. “And we are not unmindful of that and we are already putting in place a lot of strategies to contend with it.
“We know that it will send a lot of them to unemployment. We are aware of that and are preparing for it.”