Lagos State Government will not reverse the ongoing enforcement of its Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018, which restricts operations of commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada and tricycles (Keke NAPEP) in 15 local councils across the State.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu made this known on Tuesday, while speaking at the official launch of commercial operations in water transportation by Lagos Ferry Services (LAGFERRY) at an event held at Badore Ferry Terminal in Ajah.
Sanwo-Olu said the State Government would not give in to blackmail and “uninformed criticism” of its decision to restrict Okada and Keke NAPEP on the highways, saying the enforcement became necessary in the face of growing threats to security of lives of residents.
Besides, Sanwo-Olu said the scary figures of accidents resulting from Okada riders’ recklessness and the disobedience to traffic laws necessitated the enforcement of the laws.
The Governor admitted the decision was a tough one, but said his Government would not compromise on the issue of security and safety of residents.
He said: “I agree it’s a tough decision we made regarding the restriction of Okada and Keke in some parts of Lagos. But I want to say some facts, which people can debate. The restriction that we have done is primarily based on security and safety of lives of residents. We took the decision based on the level of danger we have seen to have happened to our people.
“As a responsible Government, we will not fold our arms and allow Okada riders put our lives in danger. One life is more important to us than all the economic benefits to be made if we allowed them to continue. We understand that investment too can be critical, but keeping people alive and safe is more germane.”
Sanwo-Olu identified with commuters affected by the Okada restriction. He announced that the Government would be deploying over 500 buses to the routes listed in the restriction directive as alternative to ease movement.
He added that the launching of commercial operations on waterways by LAGFERRY was another programme introduced by the Government to address congestion on the highways.