The Lagos state government, known for its monster traffic jams, has announced a total ban on motorcycle taxis called “Okada” and “kéké,” which are motor tricycles.
A sector – Okada and Keke taxi riders – that employ hundreds of thousands of young people, most of whom are illiterate. The measure is expected to come into effect on 1st February 2020.
These two modes of transport are used by millions of the poorest people and employ tens of thousands of uneducated young people. But ‘the government of the state of Lagos wants to act strongly against the threat of motorcycles and commercial tricycles’, according to the authorities, justifying this radical measure by the “frightening figures” of fatal accidents on the roads.
“The lack of respect for the highway code by Okada and Keke drivers has resulted in unnecessary loss of life,” said local authorities. This radical measure and without prior announcement should be applied from February 1 in the central districts of the city of Lagos as well as on all significant axes and bridges.
Public transport remains underdeveloped, or even utterly non-existent in many districts, despite the opening of a few bus lines in recent years.
The new governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has promised to tackle the traffic problems that haunt the daily lives of Lagos residents. The roads are too narrow or full of potholes and the congestion around the bridges makes travel particularly tricky in this large city with strong population growth.
Okada and Keke leaving Lagos
Numerous trailers of motorcycles, commonly known as Okada, and tricycles, known as Keke Napep, have been spotted being moved out of Lagos State. The ban, according to the Information and Strategy Commissioner, Mr. Gbenga Omotosho, would take effect from today, 1 February 2020. This morning, many riders from the north of the country were seen leaving Lagos with their motorcycles and tricycles in various trailers.
According to Daily Trust, no less than seven trailers loaded with motorcycles were spotted along the Lagos-Ibadan Highway, leaving Lagos. It has been reported that some of the riders left Lagos to join caravans heading north from D’Ogere in Ogun State.
At Ogere in Ogun State, at least five Okada and Keke trailers were counted, while some of the drivers were seen tying up the bike on other trailers and tankers. Some of them who spoke with reporters on the way said they were going to their respective states in the North due to the ban on motorcycles and Tricycles by the Lagos State government.