NIGERIA’S commercial capital Lagos said it will ban motorcycle taxis from operating in most of the traffic-clogged city, removing a popular mode of transport for residents.
Lagos state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the ban, the second in just over two years, would come into force from June, adding that the motorbikes that offer taxi services, known locally as “Okadas”, were unsafe.
It was not immediately clear if the ban, which does not include delivery motorcycles, would include ride-hailing start-ups such as Oride, Gokada and Max.ng, which have sought to capitalise on the city’s teeming population of just over 20 million people to expand their businesses.
The companies could not be immediately reached for comment.
Traffic jams are part of daily life in Lagos, where many residents use motorcycles to criss-cross between the traffic, but with little regard for road and safety rules.
“Lives are being lost on a daily basis, preventable accidents are happening every day and the riders are not respecting any of our traffic laws,” Sanwo-Olu said.
“The situation has led to a complete breakdown of law and order. This ban has come to stay and we will not tolerate any weakness in enforcement,” told a news briefing.
A similar restriction imposed in February 2020 fizzled out because of a lack of enforcement.
Motorcycle taxis will be banned from 40 bridges and flyovers and areas covering the business districts of Victoria Island and Lagos Island, Apapa, where the primary port is located and Ikeja, which is home to the international airport.
“How am I supposed to survive when there are no jobs? We will see if this is different (from last time),” said Okada driver Victor Abara while the tyre of his motorcycle was being fixed at a roadside garage in Victoria Island.