The Lagos State Government on Wednesday said it would now be holding commercial transport union leaders responsible for motorcycle robberies in the state.
It also reiterated its determination to punish commercial motorcycle operators, popularly called okada riders, apprehended on restricted bridges and roads in the state.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, stated this at an emergency meeting with the commercial transport stakeholders in Ikeja.
He said the government had enacted road traffic law and would no longer condone activities that flouted it.
Opeifa said, “The government is being magnanimous by not completely banning okada operations like some other states in the federation. So you must abide by this law.
“We are only telling you to keep off prohibited roads. You can operate from where people cannot get commercial buses.”
Chairman of the state Taskforce on Environmental Offences and Enforcement Unit, Bayo Sulaiman, said law enforcement agencies in the state were worried that okada riders were still violating the law.
He said, “We do not want to start pouncing on you in the name of enforcing the law. By the time we begin full enforcement, you may not like it. That is why government is calling on you and other union leaders to warn your members before we start enforcement properly.”
Chairman, Lagos State Traffic Management Agency, Mr. Young Arabamen, urged the transport operators to cooperate with the government to improve public transportation and eradicate poverty.
However, the operators urged the government to limit the ban to expressways and bridges.
The operators asked for extension of the commencement of enforcement and said restricting them from 475 roads would force them out of business.