Bismarck Rewane, the Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives, and Atedo Peterside, the former Group Chairman of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, are some of the notable experts, who have expressed misgivings over the Lagos State Government’s decision to ban commercial motorcycles and tricycles in 15 LGAs and LCDAs across the state.
Speaking to CNBC Africa, Rewane stated that although the move to rid Lagos of commercial motorcycles and tricycles is a good one, the implementation is rather controversial. This is because the ban is causing a lot of confusion, he said. He then went further to add that the Lagos urban transit system is not mature enough to cater to everyone. And this is true.
Ever since the ban took effect on February 1st, there have been reported cases of long queues at major bus stops and people sometimes having to trek long distances. Employees resume late at work, and this is affecting productivity. In view of all these and more, the Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Muda Yusuf, said this is not sustainable law.
“This policy or this law is not a sustainable law. Given all the gaps and given the demand for transportation, and given all the lapses we have in the general planning of the city, given the welfare effect, the economic effect, the social effect… and the employment effect…”
Prior to the ban, traffic on major Lagos road was a regular occurrence. Unfortunately, there seems to have been more traffic across Lagos in recent times, thereby defeating one of the government’s motives for the ban – which was to combat traffic. An Uber driver who refused to be named attributed the increase in traffic the fact that more Lagosians, who hitherto kept their cars at home and used public transport, now have their cars on the roads.
Commercial motorcycles used to be a good way for many commuters in Lagos to get around traffic gridlocks. Bike hailing companies like GoKada and Max.NG even tried to revoluntionise the business by introducing better motorcycles and ensuring that their riders meet safety standards. Unfortunately, the ban affected these ones as well much to the chagrin of many people.
Atedo Peterside is one of those who feels like banning bike hailing companies as well might not have been a good move. According to him, it would have been a better option to regulate them than to ban them outrightly.
LASG should review outright Okada ban. Difficult as it may seem, regulating them properly is the way forward. Ride hailing Apps actually simplify the challenging task of regulating the business properly.
— Atedo Peterside (@AtedoPeterside) February 5, 2020
In the meantime, the Lagos State Government does not seem to care about these logical criticisms. In the same vein, the government certainly does not seem swayed to backtrack based on the outrage expressed by Lagosians. Instead, it is insisting that this is the way forward, as okada and keke ban is intended to help curtail road accidents, crime, and other vices.
The government has, however, acknowledged the negative effects the ban has had on Lagosians, even as it has outlined plans aimed at addressing these challenges.
For now, Lagos commuters are continuing to groan under the negative effects of the ban. There could even more trouble for commuters, as the government is currently planning to clamp down on Uber and other cab-hailing service providers over permits.