by Dolapo Adelana
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said a ban on motorcycles and tricycles nationwide would have an adverse effect on the nation’s economy.
Amaechi, who stated this on Tuesday in Abuja at the celebration of the national day of Amalgamated Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners, Repairers and Riders Association of Nigeria (ACOMORAN) advised state governments to train the riders 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.
Speaking further, Amaechi said commercial cyclists play vital roles in the transportation sector, especially in transporting agricultural produce where roads are not easily accessible.
“We know you play a vital role in the economy: Not all buses, taxis can access our roads for agricultural purposes; a lot of Nigerians depend on you because your services are cheap.
“The economy cannot only grow through white collar jobs; everybody doesn’t need to depend on government and what you have done is to be self-employed to feed yourselves,’’ the minister said.
Recall that few weeks ago, Ekiti Governor Ayodele Fayose said the plan by the federal government to ban okada was heartless.
National President of ACOMORAN, Shehu Babangida, said the association’s 12 million membership had massively reduced the rate of unemployment and criminality in the country by engaging vulnerable youths.
Babangida thanked the minister and former Zamfara governor, Senator Sani Yerima, as well as other dignitaries, for gracing the occasion.
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.