Lagos Government Defends Okada Ban, Says ‘Our Youths No Longer Learn Tailoring, Bricklaying’

“The truth is that okada, no matter what fanciful name it’s called, is not part of our greater Lagos journey.”

Lagos State Government has revealed that why Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu banned the activities of commercial motorcycles, popularly called Okada, and tricycles, known as Keke Napep in the state.

KanyiDaily had reported that Lagos government banned okada and Keke Napep, including ORide and Gokada, motorbike hailing services in 15 local councils, effective from February 1, 2020.

Many Lagosians have condemned the state government for this action, saying it will increase the rate of crime in the state as no palliative measures were put in place to cushion the effect it will have on those whose livelihood depends on riding okadas and tricycles popularly called keke napep.

Motorbike hailing services like Oride, Gokada accused the state government of not consulting them before announcing its decision to ban motorcycle taxis. Many of the riders took to the streets to protest against the action.

Feeding answers to why motorbike hailing services were affected, the government said they were part of the problem. It said they were not part of the greater Lagos journey on which the state has embarked.

The government lamented that youths are no longer interested in trades like tailoring, bricklaying, printing, painting and others.

“The truth is that okada, no matter what fanciful name it’s called, is not part of our greater Lagos journey on which we have embarked,” it said.

“Our youths no longer learn the trades we used to be proud of- tailoring, bricklaying, printing, painting and others. Now we get artisans from neighbouring countries. Okada is not an enduring trade,” it said.

Asked why there were no alternatives in place before embarking on the ban, it said things were bad already, and the government could not fold its arm and watch it get worse.

“The security of lives of Lagosians is of paramount interest to the Governor Babjide Sanwo-Olu’s administration. This is why it is moving to stop the first slide into lawlessness”

Regarding those who may become jobless because of the ban, the Lagos government said there were programmes in place for the unemployed.

“The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, LSETF, is very active, helping many to set up their businesses with cheap funds.

“The ministry of women affairs and poverty alleviation has also been doing so much training young women in various trades and giving them some money to set up,” it added.

Responding to the fears of people about the rate of crime increasing, the state government assured that it will not.

It said okadas were used to carry out criminal activities and the figures of such from the police were scary.

According to the government, it is ready to deal with anybody who plans on taking to crime because he lost his okada job.

“Okada has been used by criminals to rob and terrorise innocent citizens. Police figures are scary. When it was banned in Kano and Edo, for instance, crime rates dropped. The law enforcement agencies are ready to fix anybody who wants to take to crime because he has lost his Okada job,” it said.

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