The Lagos State Government on Monday announced plans to commence total enforcement of the 2012 state Traffic Law on activities of motorcyclists, popularly called Okada and tricycles, called “Keke Marwa” on restricted routes and bridges.
The restriction and enforcement also affect the newly introduced “Opay ride, Gokada ride” and other similar commercial motorcycles. He did not, however, specified if it included the private power bike owners.
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, Frederic Oladeinde and Moyosore Onigbanjo, Commissioners for Transportation, Attorney-General and Justice, respectively, at a joint press briefing, announced the planned total enforcement on Okada operation, held at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja.
Omotoso explained that enforcement would be carried out in six local government areas as a pilot scheme before the enforcement will be extended to other councils.
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The commissioner said the measure became necessary following flagrant disregards to the traffic law by the operators and moreso, the need to further ensure the safety of lives and property of residents and members of the public in general.
Partial compliance was observed in many areas as the ban on Okada, Napep became effective February 1st.
A Vanguard correspondent reported that some Policemen were arresting O’Pay bike riders at about 8:30 pm last night (January 31st) before the official take-off of the ban.
At Apapa Road, Lagos Island, no Keke Napep rider is ready to take the risk as they left their Keke at home to observe the situation of things.
Danfo Divers inflate price at Oyingbo bus stop as Keke Napep and Okada ban takes effect.
Keke Napep, Okada in their hundreds keep off Constain Roundabout where they load passenger going to Oju Elegba, Mushin, Bode Thomas and Aguda as passengers stranded.
Danfo drivers at Oyingbo and Costain Roundabout inflate price. Oju Elegba from the area instead of N50 is now N100. Fadeyi fare increased from N100 to N150.
Ikeja from Costain Roundabout price increased from N200 to N300.
While some passengers refuse to board, others with pressing task have no option.
Costain roundabout “area boys” that use to extort money from Keke and Okada riders were left idle as they take alcohol to control their frustration.
One of the Area Boys who spoke with Vanguard correspondent said that on a normal day, he stands at the junction by 6:00am and before 9:00am he would have made up to N3, 000 and most time by close of work at night he delivers N9, 000 out of which they will give him N2,000 as take-home money
At the end of month, he makes up to N50, 000 out of which he “saves, settle the family, by alcohol for friends and also settle side chicks”, but things is about to change.
At 7:30 am in Lakowe area of Ajah some of the tricycle operators who were initially afraid to ply the road have started working and picking passengers after.
While commercial Okada riders have restricted their operations to inner roads and streets.
The usual bobbling bus stop for Okada riders and tricycles completely deserted by the operators and passengers have to make use of the ‘Yellow bus’ who in their usual practice hiked the transport fare.