The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, says the use of motorcycles (Okada) as a major means of transportation is not in the plan of Lagos State and should be banned.
He spoke at a public lecture organised by the United Action for Change in Lagos on Thursday.
It will be recalled that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State had banned the operations of motorcycle and tricycle in 15 Local Government Development Areas and Local Council Development Areas, including highways and major roads in the state.
The ban, however, has generated controversies and mixed reactions from residents of Lagos and other Nigerians.
Since the enforcement of the ban, residents complained of gridlock, hike in transportation fare and unavailability of vehicles to convey them to their destinations.
But Fashola said rather than reduce crime, motorcycles aid it.
During his eight-year tenure as the Lagos State Governor, Fashola also banned Okadas.
“If you are concerned about security you must support the present Lagos governor now on Okada ban. As the Center of Excellence, motorcycles should not be our choice of transport,” he added.
He also advised the Lagos State Government enforcement of the law, saying, “We are more focused on launch enforcement and increasing the numbers of policemen. Capacity development is great but security is more than law enforcement.”
While giving reasons for his support for Okada ban, Fashola narrated that he was once robbed in his home.
He said Okada riding also aided crisis and caused youths not to explore other productive ways of generating income.
He said, “Do we stand in reacting mode or proactive mode. If reacting, there is already a victim and a criminal. If we are proactive then how long can we sustain that?
“Motorcycles are a means of peddling drugs to children even under the watch of parents without knowing.
I’ve always held this position. Motorcycle has always been a conduit pipe for the opioid crisis among youths. We must act to eliminate anonymity.
“I was robbed in my home, in fact on my bed in 1999. Organised crime is dynamic, criminals are aware that people don’t keep money at home again, now they diversified into kidnapping people for ransom