A senior lecturer at the University of Ghana’s Department of Geography, Professor Martin Oteng Ababio believes that no research was conducted before a law was passed to ban okada operations in Ghana.
According to him, the current law cannot stand the test of time because it has no research backing it.
He added that the lack of research prior to the passage of the law is the cause of confusion around okada operations now.
Section 128 (1) of the Road Traffic Regulations, 2012 (Legislative Instrument 2180), states: “The licencing authority shall not register a motorcycle to carry a fare-paying passenger.”
“The truth of the matter is that any law that is not by research is bound to fail. The failure of this law is not surprising to some of us. I suggest we look at the law in its totality because I don’t foresee the current law standing the test of time in Ghana today and in the near future,” Professor Oteng Ababio said in an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show on Thursday, September 17, 2020.
Prof. Ababio conducted a research on okada operations in 2012 and recommended that okada should not be banned.
Prof. Ababio further urged the government to take a second look at the law in question.
This he clarifies by adding that the okada business has come to stay.
“Motorbikes are part of our transportation system and it will forever be part of it. The use of same for commercial purposes is the bone of contention now. Can we look at it and see how we can regulate it and for that matter, I agree because it is well regulated in other parts of the world. Otherwise, if we go with banter or banning and not banning, the problem will continue to exist. ”
The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has promised to legalise the operations of the okada business.
The party’s flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama, who wants critics of his promise to stop acting like “ostriches”, maintains the okada business has come to stay.
According to him, okada is the only means of transport for some people in some parts of the country.
But the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) says it will not succumb to pressure to legalise okada operations.
Describing the operationalisation of okada in the country as a “risky business”, the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia disclosed that government will instead offer new cars to the operators on a lease basis in order for them to carry out their activities in a much safer manner.
“You don’t want to finish graduate school and then make a life from okada riding. You can have a better option, and we will give you a better option. So yes, we will not legalise the okada business in Ghana. It may be a tough decision but it is in the interest of Ghanaians. We are having discussions, but we will stick to our decision to provide a better alternative for the okada riders. Let’s give them an opportunity to buy safer vehicles through lease and pay over time. It is a better option than what the alternative is,” he said.
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