Lagos has announced immediate enforcement of restriction of Okada from plying highways, bridges and the 475 roads identified in Schedule II of the Road Traffic Law 2012.
The reinvigoration of the enforcement on the restriction, according to the Acting Commissioner for Transportation, Prince Olanrewaju Elegushi should not been seen as a ban. It is not a new thing but rather a Law that has been implemented over time and needs new impetus. He said the new commitment is as a result of the recent surge in crime traced to the activities of some unscrupulous Okada Riders.

The Acting Commissioner for Transportation, Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi who addressed the media in the presence of the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde and the Commissioner of Police represented by the DC (Ops), Mr. Imohimi Oluwole Edgal made this known today at a joint press briefing on the “Enforcement of Restriction of Okada and Tricycles on Lagos Roads” which took place at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja.
Elegushi who declared that the restriction on Okada has not been lifted as opined in some quarters also said that the lull in enforcement was to facilitate engagement of Stakeholders through continued  education of the various groups of Okada riders on the need to abide by the rules guiding their operations especially during this festive period.
Explaining further, the Commissioner said the State will not tolerate Okada on restricted roads, highways and bridges; will not condone Okada driving against traffic especially those who ply their trade along Lagos – Abeokuta Expressway and Ojota – Ikorodu Town and those who use BRT restricted/reserve lane as well all those stated in Schedule  II of State Traffic Law.
Elegushi explained that in line with the present administration’s plan to build a Lagos that works for all, the Ministry of Transportation often engage with Unions/Associations of Tricycle operators and Okada operators to ensure members abide by public safety.
He reiterated that a plan for a joint enforcement involving State’s Traffic apparatus, the Police and the Union will be activated to ensure a robust enforcement. He urged military personnel and para military organizations to also obey the Law.
While also commenting, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde said the planned full enforcement will be done in partnership with the Unions. He said the plan was to be enforced through persuasion, enlightenment and collective responsibility.
Stating that the full weight of the Law will be brought to bear on those who fail to abide with the restriction order. The information boss, explained that non – registration and riding without appropriate certifications will not be viewed lightly.
He said though the State cannot prevent anyone from arriving Lagos to do business but all such persons can do it only within the ambit of the Law.
In his comments the representatives of the Commissioner of Police, The Deputy Commissioner, Operations, Mr. Imohimi Oluwole Edgal said the enforcement strategy is a tripartite one involving not just the Police but also Union members and other agencies of Lagos State.
He noted that past efforts will be built upon with a view to ensure that the restriction is adhered to and those who disguise as operators but are criminals are apprehended promptly.
He further urged the Union to ensure that a safe distance is kept between their parks and financial institutions and banks to enable the Police effectively monitor the institutions during the festivals.
Mr. Imohimi also said plans are afoot to curb the use of Okada by military men and police officers by engaging with their bosses saying the Law is no respecter of persons.
In their remarks, the operators of Okada, MOALS, NNAMORAL and TODAL expressed their support for the joint enforcement saying it will ensure compliance. Mr. Muritala Lawal of TOOAN said their members will be adequately briefed on the plans of the Government even though they are not new initiatives.    
Biola Fagunwa
Director, Public Affairs
1st December, 2016
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