We have not officially endorsed or called for legislation of Okada Business-Deputy Minister

Deputy Transport Minister Titus Nii Kwatei Glover, says the Transport Ministry has not called for the regularisation or commercialisation of okada business.

He told Kwabena Agyapong on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, the Deputy minister disclosed stakeholder engagements are ongoing for finality on the matter.

According to him, the law is clear on the activities of okada and it says that it should not be operationalised.

He said from the Ministry’s perspective we are still engaging. We will listen across the country and conclude if it is indeed feasible to look at it. From Accra we will move to other regions and engage with stakeholders on the matter.

He indicated that the ministry will be guided by what the majority decision will be.

Meanwhile, the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak has called for the amendment of the country’s road traffic laws to accommodate the practice.

In a statement on the floor of the House on Thursday, Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak charged the government to legalize the commercial use of motorcycles as ‘Okada’ due to its contributions to the Ghanaian economy.

“Even though these Okada operators are working hard to make a living, their activities have been described by some people as counterproductive because many of them flout road traffic regulations. They fail to wear protective clothing such as helmets, thereby putting their lives and those of their clients in danger. Some of them ride recklessly resulting in road accidents.

“These negative tendencies necessitated a call for an outright ban of the practice and also some of the major reasons that initially influenced the passage of the law. But it is my considered view that the benefits outweigh the social costs and as such we cannot kill the goose that laid the golden eggs by this country’s continuous ban on the use of motorcycle or tricycle for commercial purposes,” he stated.

According to him, what is critical is that the country must put in place regulations that support the commercial operations of the Okada riders and such regulations must aim at instituting appropriate standards and capacities of motorcycles and its drivers for public transportation service.

“Such regulations must also touch on proper type of motorcycle that can be granted a franchise, the minimum Cubic Centimeter (CC) capacity of motor, travel speed of motorcycle taxis, franchise route, seat and helmet requirements, and training requirements for motorcycle riders looking to register as a Public Utility Vehicle driver,” he added and through other regulations to support their use for commercial purposes such as setting working time limits within which commercial operations are allowed can help us achieve the objective of creating employment opportunities for youth and also address the transportation needs of our people, especially in the rural areas.

“Let us review the law to accommodate Okada operators by mainstreaming them into our national transport system so that they can be identified, registered, licensed and policed to work within the road traffic regulations,” he declared.

Parliament in 2012 approved a legislative proposal by the government to pass the Road Traffic Regulations, 2012 (Legislative Instrument 2180) to regulate road transport in this country.

Sections 128 (1), (2) and (3) of the L.I. 2180, prohibit the use of motorcycle or tricycle, or what has been popularly known as “Okada” for commercial purposes.

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