In view of the lingering security and safety challenges prevalent in the country with demonstrable links to some ‘Okada’ riders, stakeholders in the Ogun State transport sector have concluded plans to register, co-ordinate, oversee and monitor the activities and operations of motorcycle taxi operators in the state.
State Commissioner for Transportation, Engr. Gbenga Dairo, disclosed this in a statement issued from his office on Monday by Wale Olanrewaju, saying the measure, amongst others, was agreed upon following a 3-hour stakeholders’ security meeting with the Nigeria Police, Department of State Services, Nigeria Immigration Service, Federal Roads Safety Corps, Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Agency (TRACE), SO Safe Corps and leaders of Amalgamated Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners, Repair and Riders Association of Nigeria (ACOMORAN), Articulated Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association of Nigeria (AMORAN) and Riders and Owners Motorcycle Organisation (ROMO), held at the Nigeria Police Officers’ Mess in Abeokuta.
“As the worrisome tales of kidnapping and other violent crimes with demonstrable links to okada riders continue to pervade the country, the State government, in agreement with other stakeholders in the transport sector, have concluded plans to register, co-ordinate, oversee and monitor the activities and operations of motorcycle taxi operators in the State as part of our efforts to ensure security, sanity and safety in the transportation sector”, he said.
Dairo assured that the exercise would avail the State government a means of accessing accurate data of all commercial motorcycle operators as captured by various Unions they belong for easy identification, monitoring of activities and possible tracking of any particular rider in case the need arises.
He revealed that motorcycle unions have been directed to facilitate and accelerate the commencement and completion of the exercise, adding that government, through its enforcement agencies, shall enforce registered national number plates, riders’ permit of all motorcyclists for operation on the road and compulsory use of uniform reflective jackets with security fixtures, whose issuance shall be based on the data earlier collected about a rider, including residential address, state and local government of origin, name and address of next of kin, among others.
According to him, “All stakeholders have embraced the initiatives and Unions’ representatives of operators are committed to facilitating and accelerating commencement and completion of the exercise inclusive of issuance of identification documents and ensuring compliance with vehicle registration protocols.”
The commissioner, however, assured that the present administration remained committed to the security and safety of lives and property of citizenry, enjoining all transport Unions to cooperate with government and all its agencies in the efforts to develop a roadmap for a better organised and robust transport sector, where safety and general interest of passengers and operators are made supreme.
In his reaction, the State Chairman of ACOMORAN and spokesperson of the three motorcycle Associations, Mr Kayode Amos Showunmi, said unions have agreed with the initiatives of government in its bid to rid the state of crime and criminality, assuring that registration of members shall commence immediately while all hands would be on deck m to ensure that the present administration succeeds in its novel ideas in the transportation sector.
He advised that all commercial motorcycle operators be observant and security-conscious while they go about their duties and shun all acts of violence, reckless driving and flagrant disregard of traffic lights and laws, adding that no member caught in such acts shall again be treated with kid gloves.