Okada ban: Port users stranded, ride bicycles, as operators desert Apapa

daacb photo x
daacb photo x

By Steve Agbota 

Hundreds of port users were yesterday stranded and left with no choice than to trek kilometers from Apapa to Tin Can Island Ports amongst other long distances to meet up with their business engagements as the ban on Okada operators kicked off in six local government areas of the state. 

A visit to the two seaports in Lagos by our reporter saw  operatives of the Nigeria Police Force  patrolling the two ports as motorcyclists flouting the new policy ran  to escape the impeding seizure their bikes if caught.

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The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had announced the ban of motorcycle operations in six Local Government Areas of the State including Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island, and Apapa. 

A walk from Apapa to Tin Can Island Port, some clearing agents resolve to ride bicycles to get to their distant destinations while some trekked from Apapa to PTML even as  all major parks in the seaport usually occupied by motorcyclists were deserted and empty. 

Speaking with Daily Sun, clearing agent, Mamood Adegoke, said that the ban was a good step as it will reduce the traffic along the ports corridor, adding that the Okada riders contributed to the Apapa gridlock. 

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He said there are over 12,000 Okada riders in Apapa with majority of them with unregistered plate numbers. It is always difficult to identify who is who when the commit any crime.

However, he urged Lagos State Government to provide alternative means of transportation around the port corridors in order to ease the movement  of ports users.

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A freight forwarder, Abubakar Shehu commended the Lagos State Government for initiating the ban idea, but called for   alternatives like tricycles to ease activities that involve covering long distances in the port. 

Meanwhile,  the Lagos State Government has advised schools below tertiary level to be security conscious.

In a statement on Tuesday, the director-general of the Lagos State Office of Education Quality Assurance (OEQA) at the state’s ministry of education, Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, said the schools should “ensure compliance with the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy of the state as prescribed.”

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