After the announcement of Former President John Dramani Mahama to legalize and regularize “Okada” Business in the country when voted into power in 2021, many reactions and concerns have been raised by Civil Society organizations, Individuals and industry players. In separate interviews, some motorcycle riders agreed whereas others disagree with the President’s decision.
In 2012, Parliament passed the Road Traffic Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2180) into law to regulate road transport in the country.
Regulations 128 (1), (2), and (3) of the Legislative Instrument 2180 prohibits the use of motorcycles or tricycles for commercial purposes.
Regulation 128 (1) of LI 2180 states that the “Licensing Authority shall not register a motorcycle to carry a fare-paying passenger.”Section 128 (2) also states that a “person shall not permit a motorcycle or tricycle which that person exercises control to be used for commercial purpose, except for courier and delivery services”.Section 128 (3) further stipulates that “a person shall not ride on a motorcycle or tricycle as a paying passenger.”
However, the Transport Ministry on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, revealed that they are considering a review of the law that bans the use of motorbikes (Okada) in the country for commercial purposes.
Deputy Transport Minister Titus Glover said section 128 of the road traffic regulation Act will be reviewed.
According to him, the use of motorbikes for commercial work is providing jobs for most of the youth and there is the need to review the regulation.
Meanwhile, Former President John Mahama says his government will legalize the commercial operation of motorbikes popularly known as Okada when voted into power.
According to him, the Okada business has become a means of sustenance for young people who are unemployed.
Addressing people during his tour of Kpando in the Volta Region, the ex-president stated that “our law says okada is illegal, but it is a reality it has come to stay and you can’t stop it. So, I say when we come into the office, we legalize it but will regulate it.”
In an interview Daniel Lartey, a rider expresses dissatisfaction over former president John Mahama’s decision.
However, Benjamin totally agrees with the former President’s decision, saying it will create more jobs for the youth.
Adjei says he will vote for Mahama and the NDC so that the Okada Business will be legalized.
However, he told the news team politicians use them during electioneering campaigns and dumps them after elections.
Nii Daniel Lartey tells me it is a risky job as Okada operators ride dangerously putting their lives, passengers and pedestrians into danger so the government legalizing okada business will increase the rate of death in the country.
The NDC should create more jobs rather than legalizing the Okada business.
The country’s Police Motor Transport and Traffic Department reported in December 2019 that about six people die from road traffic accidents in Ghana every day.
The figure translates into more than 2,000 traffic deaths per year.
Moreover, Ghana’s traffic accidents are becoming more serious. The National Road Safety Commission says in 2016, the most recent full year for which it analyses data, Ghana had nearly 16 % more fatalities and 7 % more serious injuries from road accidents as compared to 2015.
Story by Isaac Oto