Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia says the Akufo-Addo administration will not legalize what he describes as “risky business” of commercial motorbike aka ‘Okada’ in the country.
He assured the riders of a better alternative of empowering them to purchase brand new cars assembled in the country to engage in a much safer venture.
Dr Bawumia was speaking at an event on Thursday in Accra which saw VW and BlackIvy signed an MoU to embark on the production of affordable homes and affordable cars for the Ghanaian people.
Section 128 (1) of the Road Traffic Regulations, 2012 (Legislative Instrument 2180), states: “The licensing authority shall not register a motorcycle to carry a fare-paying passenger.”
But flagbearer for the NDC John Mahama had earlier indicated that his government will legalise the commercial operation of motorbikes popularly known as Okada if voted into power in 2021.
During a tour of Kpando in the Volta Region, the former President said the Okada business has become a means of sustenance for young people who are unemployed.
He explained that “our law says Okada is illegal, but it is a reality it has come to stay and you can’t stop it” and further backed it up by making provisions in the party’s 2020 manifesto to that effect.
Members of the NPP including the Transport Minister, Kwasi Ofori Asiamah who said government had already begun stakeholder consultations to decide on whether to review the law and legalise the business.
In the latest twist, Dr Bawumia has explained that the riders “need to graduate from this risky and less risky Okada riding to a safer means of transportation.”
The Vice President argued that with the right structures in place, ‘Okada’ operators will be able to buy or lease cars to run much ‘safer’ businesses as part of governments automobile development drive.
“Their [Okada riders] problem will be the lack of capital but if they [Transport Sector Recapitalisation Project] bring in new leasing policies and we have our national ID card with our digital addresses and so on, we can have a credit system working and give you an option other than this risky venture,” he added.
Ahead of the Vice President’s announcement, the Transport Minister had announced government’s intention to resume consultations which he said is already going into its second phase next month.
This, the Ministry said, is geared towards seeking the inputs of all agencies and organizations concerned in the legalization process.