30 January 2013

Nigeria: Okada - Lagos Goes Tough On Unrestricted Routes

Lagos State Government, Wednesday, advised commercial motorcycle operators, popularly called "Okada," in the state to obey to the letter the Road Traffic Law 2012 on all unrestricted routes or face severe sanction

This came as the government accused the Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, of obstructing ongoing reconstruction of the Ikorodu Road, on the mere excuse that it is a 'Federal Road'

Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, noted that it was highly important for motorcycle operators to obey the Road Traffic Law to ensure the safety and security of residents.

Opeifa lamented the flagrant disobedience of traffic law by motorcycle operators and argued that in spite of stakeholders' engagements, public enlightenment and advocacy embarked upon by the government to educate motorcycle associations both legal and otherwise, on the provisions of the law and the need for voluntary compliance, some motorcycle operators still plied restricted routes with impunity.

According to him, "Section 3 sub sections 3 and 4 stipulate that no person shall operate a motorcycle either as a rider or a passenger without wearing a standard protective crash helmet and that no motorcycle operator shall carry more than one passenger at a time or a pregnant woman, a child below the age of 12 years or an adult with a baby on her back."

Opeifa, warned motorcycle operators who ply unrestricted routes without the proper registration of the motorcycles, to desist from such unlawful act as both rider and passenger would be made to face the law.

He appealed to Nigeria Police, Military and other Law Enforcement Agents to carry out their duties diligently while enforcing the Road Traffic Law, adding that "Lagosians rely on them for their safety, security and enforcement of the Law."

On Ikorodu Road, the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure claimed the planned rehabilitation could only be done without interference from FERMA and urged FERMA to concentrate its rehabilitation programmes on Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, Lagos-Sagamu Road, Apapa - Osodi Expressway and a host of others begging for serious attention.

According to the ministry, the state applied for and had taken over the maintenance and rehabilitation of Ikorodu road, not only to ensure its improvement but to also upgrade its facilities because of the priority attention the state government had given to it.

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