Commercial motorcycle operators in Lagos State have appealed to the Babatunde Fashola administration to defer the enforcement of the new traffic law to enable them to relocate their operations and families from the state.
The operators, popularly called okada riders, made the appeal at a stakeholders’ forum on Friday.
The forum was organised by the Ministry of Transportation to sensitise different okada unions to the guidelines on the new law.
They also solicited amendment to the law for some of them that would still remain in the state.
They said the penalties prescribed by the law were severe.
The Chairman, Motorcycle Transport Union of Nigeria, Paul Ugo, said, “We are aware of the law. We have been trying to educate our members.
“But many of them have said they could not operate in the state under the law. We are appealing to the state government to give them time to make some money to be able to relocate their families from Lagos State.”
However, the Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, said the government was not interested in frustrating people out of the state.
Opeifa, who insisted that the enforcement of the law would soon commence, urged voluntary compliance, saying it would ensure safety and security of lives and property.
He said, “We are determined and we are going to be decisive. We have not banned commercial motorcycles. We have only restricted their movements. And we have not started enforcement of the law.
“What we are doing right now is to sensitise the residents and stakeholders.”
He added that Community Development Associations, traditional rulers and community leaders among others had been briefed about the new law.
Opeifa appealed to residents to partner with the government to make the law effective.
Meanwhile, the Director of Service, LAGBUS, Mr. Yemi Odubela, said there would be no immunity for any LAGBUS driver that flouts the new law.
Odubela said this during a two-day workshop for drivers in Lagos on Saturday.
“Nobody is above the law; that you work with LAGBUS does not give you the privilege to disobey the law of the state,” he said.