NPP will not legalise okada – Bawumia
Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has stated that the government will not legalise the use of motorcycles for carrying fare-paying passengers popularly known as okada.
Rather, Dr Bawumia said that the riders “need to graduate from this risky Okada riding to a safer means of transportation.”
To that end, he said the government would not legalise the practise but provide an alternative for okada riders and would maintain the status quo of a ban.
Dr Bawumia made the comments at a programme where German carmaker VW signed an MoU with BlackIvy to produce homes and cars for Ghanaians.
So riders would be supported with credit as part of government’s automobile development drive to switch to commercial vehicles to earn a living.
In recent times, the debate on okada has been heightened following a promise of legalisation by the opposition candidate, former President Mahama contesting again on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and under whose leadership, it passed the law to out-law Okada business in the election year of 2012.
This prompted a response in which the Transport Minister, Kwasi Ofori Asiamah, said that a stakeholder consultation was ongoing. However, it was halted due to the COVID-19 and would resume before the end of 2020.
The prohibition of motorcycles for commercial vehicles was informed by safety and security, and it is grounded in law as captured by Road Traffic Regulations, 2012 (Legislative Instrument 2180).
Section 128 (1) of L.l. 2180 states–– “The licensing authority shall not register a motorcycle to carry a fare-paying passenger.”
Section 128 (2) states –– “A person shall not permit a motorcycle or tricycle which that person exercises control to be used for commercial purposes except for courier and delivery services.”
Section 128 (3) states –– “A person shall not ride on a motorcycle or tricycle as a paying passenger.”
The development has split heads as critics such as think tank, IMANI Africa, supports legalization due to the economic benefits.
MPs have also had varied opinions with the House split over a review of the legislation.
The riders, who claim to have a membership of 800,000, have thrown their support behind Mr Mahama.