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Lagos govt renews crackdown on ‘okadas’



In a move aimed at improving public safety and easing traffic congestion, the Lagos State Government has launched a crackdown on commercial motorcycles, known locally as okada, operating on restricted routes within the city.

This campaign, announced on Monday, marks the latest effort to enforce regulations and bring order to the city’s often chaotic transportation system.

Commissioner for Transportation Oluwaseun Osiyemi, speaking from his Alausa office, stated that the campaign aims for “the unequivocal halt of motorcycle operations in specified restricted zones.

He added that the ban on commercial motorcycles “remains in force in 10 local government areas and 15 local council development areas within the metropolis.”

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The transport commissioner urged residents and commuters to refrain from using motorcycles on restricted routes, reiterating the penalties for violation which include, “three years in prison for both riders and passengers with their motorcycles impounded and publicly crushed in accordance with Section 46, sub-section 1, 2 & 3 of the Transport Sector Reform Law, 2018.”

The Lagos State Government has since 2022 banned the operations of commercial motorcycles in Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Somolu, Mushin, Apapa, Ikeja, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, Surulere and Eti-Osa local government areas, as well as some local council development areas under them including Ojodu, Onigbongbo, Lagos Island East, Yaba, Coker Aguda, Itire-Ikate, Eti-Osa West, Iru Victoria Island, Ikoyi-Obalende, Ikosi-Isheri, Agboyi-Ketu, Isolo, Ejigbo, Bariga and Odi-Olowo LCDAs.

Supporters of the crackdown argue that it is necessary to curb reckless motorcycle driving and accidents, which are common occurrences in Lagos. They also point to the disruption okadas often cause to regular traffic flow.

However, critics of the move express concern about the potential impact on commuters who rely on okadas for affordable and accessible transportation, particularly in areas with limited public transport options. They also raise questions about the effectiveness of previous crackdowns and the potential for corruption among enforcement officials.

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