APFFLON Decries Hardship Trailing Ban of Motorcycles on Lagos Roads
*Calls for measures to cushion effect of the ban
By Mc Anthony Onuoha
Following the ban on commercial motorcycles and Keke operators in Lagos metropolis by the Lagos State Government recently, the African Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON), has criticised the hardship that the sudden decision brought to residents, describing the action as impulsive.
In a chat with the Prestige Blended Magazine in his office recently, the National President of the Association, Otumba Frank Ogunojemite , said that the association was in total support of the Okada ban but is yet to come to terms with its urgency.
He added, “The decision was taken and implemented without government putting in place palliative measures to cushion the effect of the ban”.
In his words”, APFFLON is not in any way against the ban because of the rising state of insecurity in the state. It is good Lagos State emulates other mega cities of the world in reorganising its transportation system, as that alone will go a long way to restoring sanity in the state.
“Influx of people from across the country into the State, especially those who have no specific abode really dealt a dazing blow on the State, as open defecation has become the order of the day. The ban on Okada will go a long way to restoring sanity in the metropolis”.
He pointed out, “The recklessness of Okada Operators has claimed hundreds of lives in the State, as most of the cyclists are uninformed and do not obey traffic rules, that alone is a big problem on its own”.
Aside advantages of the ban, the National President of the Association went ahead to condemn the urgency, saying that the government should have engaged stakeholders before implementing its decision.
His position, “The ban landed so hard on residents, as many now trek very long distances to their workplaces. The sudden action would in no doubt have an adverse effect on the economy. For instance, great loss of man-hours and weariness after a long walk, which will also go a long way to hamper efficiency at work”.
When asked of his opinion in the area of palliative measures, he suggested cable transportation and since the State licensed a couple of more organised outfits like O-Pay.
His words, “The Government should have retained the services of the Operators even as it added colour to transportation in terms of neatness and conduct. I really thought that the State government should have set up a task force to regulate their operations, okay more of such outfits, compel them, all the commercial vehicles to always train, retrain, collate their data and FORCE them to embark on COMPREHENSIVE insurance scheme to march with international standard. All these would have been put in place before the enforcement of the ban to cushion the effect.
” For example, we freight forwarders, port workers and government agencies like Customs, NAFDAC, SON, others can not get to TinCan area without a motor bike, unless the person treks from Mile2 to TinCan, no Shuttle buses because of the Peculiar state of that corridor, the on-going rehabilitation work on that axis has compounded the stress as contractors, tankers and trucks laden with containers restrict vehicles from plying the corridor, that is a major issue as no one knows when the road will be opened for road users.”
“In 2017, the Lagos State Government embarked on setting up Cable Transport system, which would have improved Transportation in the metropolis, as it is seen in most Mega Cities of the Globe; but the project never saw the light of day. Such laudable project would have also gone a long way to help alleviate the sufferings of residents in a time like this.
“Besides, APPFLON commends the Lagos State Government for the recent inauguration of ferries on waterways to Transport residents to designated waterfronts. It is a move in the right direction”.
Otumba Ogunojemite appealed to Lagos State Government to step up its game on security now that the ban on Okada and tricycle has been enforced. He lamented that the rate of crime will increase since it is obvious that a good number of people have lost their means of livelihood, as some of them might resort to criminalities. For that reason, he emphasized the need for job creation and urgent need to put in place skill acquisition centers in almost all the Local Council Areas.