State governments in the country have been advised to jettison their plan to ban commercial motorcyclists popularly known as Okada from operating in their domains.
The admonition came on Tuesday in Abuja from the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
Amaechi said that motorcycles and tricycles should not be banned nationwide because doing so would affect the country’s economy negatively.
He spoke at the celebration of the National Day of Amalgamated Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners, Repairers and Riders Association of Nigeria (ACOMORAN).
The minister advised state governments not to ban commercial cyclists but train them to reduce their recklessness on the road and ensure strict compliance with rules and regulations.
“I don’t think we should ban Okada because if we do, it will affect the economy; they only need to be trained to obey rules and regulations.
“The issue of security, safety and regulation should be dealt with at the state level; state governments should train Okada riders,” Amaechi said.
He urged the operators to avoid recklessness and obey traffic rules and regulations in order to reduce the rate of accidents.
According to him, commercial cyclists play vital roles in the transportation sector, especially in transporting agricultural produce where roads are not easily accessible.
The National President of ACOMORAN, Shehu Babangida, said that the day was an annual event designed to celebrate the informal sector in Nigeria.
He said that the association’s 12 million members had helped to reduce the rate of unemployment and criminality in the country by engaging vulnerable youths.