Director of Urban Studies at the University of Ghana, Prof Martin Oteng-Ababio, has argued that as far as the debate on the legalization of the Okada business is concerned, no African country has succeeded in completely eliminating the commercial use of motorbikes.
According to him, though some countries have given the debate ample consideration, banning Okada operations has never been successful.
“...Perhaps let me take you to the African continent, areas where attempts have been made to ban the Okada has never worked...,” the Professor posited in an interview on Citi News.
He said the farthest shot at success by some countries ended at restricting the operations of Okada riders; where they were not allowed to either ply some routes or operate within central business districts.
In an attempt to back his arguments with facts, Prof. Oteng-Ababio said; “…For example if you go to Nigeria, they restrict them to certain areas…if that is what we want to do, we can have a conversation on that. But to ban it completely, it’s something I don’t think will ever work. No country in Africa has succeeded not even in Rwanda.”
Prof Oteng-Ababio, who is for the legalization of the Okada business in Ghana, said based on his numerous studies on the operations, some countries even go to the extent of providing bicycle lanes as a means of reducing Okada related accidents.
“If we know that we want to regulate this, then we’re going to provide one, a good access for them. Some of these accidents happen because of their haste to avoid apprehension so once it is regulated, this apprehension will not be there…so our inability to give them the opportunity to operate also accounts for some of these accidents…” he added.
The debate about the legalization of the Okada business was reignited after former president John Dramani Mahama in his manifesto promised to legalize the operation.