Where the Okada business has been flourishing in Nigeria for many years, its West African counterpart - Ghana, has had it banned. But that is about to change.
According to information reaching Naijauto, the Ghanaian transport Ministry is set to review section 128 of the road traffic law of Ghana which prohibits the use of motorbikes as a form of commercial transportation. The law when reviewed will see Ghana join Nigeria in the use of Okada as commercial transportation means.
Like in Nigeria where huge traffic exists, and which robs people of meaningful time and money, the use of Okada has ensured that people meet up with their schedules despite the rate of increase in traffic.
Like Nigeria, Ghana's bad roads are impossible for cars to get through
Ghana seems to have increased its vehicular traffic volume, with little road infrastructure to contain it. This is why the review is coming at a good time to address the spate of increased traffic, and its negative consequences which have cost some losses for businesses in some cases.
Motorbike operators in Ghana will be excited at this time as they've operated with some form of restriction for some five years now. Aside from the fact that it helps people reach remote locations within places like the capital Accra, just like in Nigeria, it has become a source of livelihood for a lot of people and their families.
The Deputy Transport Minister, Titus Glover, said that section 128 of the Road Traffic Act will be reviewed. He further stated that the use of motorbikes as a commercial means of transport has been providing jobs for a set of teeming jobless youth, which is a good thing, hence, the need for a review of the regulation.
"They are helping because in their operations there are no jobs available, if he is using the motorbike not to commit crime but to provide a service for a fee even though the laws say that it is illegal to some extent he is doing a work, putting money on the table of his family, it's creating some jobs for the youth, so look at this side of regulation 128."
Allowing Okada for commercial transport is still a controversial topic to Ghanaian residents
It's safe to say that Okada in Nigeria, is the easiest way to get to your destination in traffic-prone areas like Lagos. It has helped people accomplish a lot, like meeting up for interviews and meetings, getting to places in time, not missing flights and travels, the list of good goes on. This has been the situation for a while now in Nigeria. Ghana following suit means they are also rising up to their urban challenges and the law needs to support this process. This will ensure that workers and businesses are on time as scheduled rather than waste countless hours of work in traffic.
The debate has been ongoing in Ghana over the last few years as opinions are divided into functionality and safety. While some see it as a very good solution to getting to places without wasting time in traffic, others see as a very dangerous and risky endeavor as the road infrastructure is not so good.
A corner of rural Ghana, where Okada would prove extremely useful
From data standpoint though, the National Road Safety Commission data states that the number of motor riders who died in road accidents across Ghana increased from 200 cases in 2010 to 400 incidents in 2017. Okada riders constituted about 25% of the total incidents recorded within the period.
According to the Deputy Minister of Transport, Titus-Glover, players in the industry need to forge a strong solution to address the situation.
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