When the authorities in Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial capital and one of the country’s most populous states, banned commercial motorcycles and tricycles from major routes in Lagos city, officials said the move was aimed at securing lives and sanitising transportation in the city.
Traffic in the city is maniacal, frenzied, time-consuming, and can be outright dangerous.
To reduce the number of hours spent daily in traffic, thousands of residents of the state resort to using commercial motorcycles and tricycles – okada and Keke Marwa as they are popularly called. Their sizes provide ease of navigating through hellish gridlocks.
Besides, thousands of Nigeria’s army of young people are employed in the most disorganised public transport sector ferrying people on around the city’s major highways and inner streets.
“It’s a lot easier for me to take a bike from here (Festac on the mainland) to Ebute Metta to get what I want to buy and come buy quickly,” said Ibrahim Bashir, an auto mechanic said, although he has a car of his own. “The traffic is discouraging.”
But state officials said in February 2020 that the motorcyclists and tricyclists, the former especially, have wreaked more havoc than could be imagined. Consequently, the government restricted their operation in six local government areas. It said the ban will restore sanity to roads and reduce security threats. The ban encompasses Okada riders and bike-hailing companies like O’Ride, Max NG, and others. (Guardian)