ORide, MAX.ng, Gokada and others banned from major areas in Lagos

The state government of Lagos state has banned commercial motorcycles and tricycles from operating along major highways in the state.

According to the commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, who made the announcement at the State House in Alausa, the measures were taken by the Government in response to “scary figures” of fatal accidents recorded from operations of Okada and tricycles in the State between 2016 and 2019.

The State Government directed security operatives to embark on a total enforcement of the State’s Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018 to immediately address the chaos and disorderliness created by illegal operations of Okada and tricycle riders in restricted areas. The ban applies to six areas in Lagos: Apapa, Surulere, Lagos Island, Eti Osa, Ikeja, and Lagos Mainland.

As welcome as this ban is, this is a major disruption to the operations of bike-hailing startups like Gokada, Oride, Max.ng and others. These companies have invested quite a lot hoping to break even within the shortest possible time considering the population of Lagos state.

The ban cites a 2018 law to bar okadas and small three-wheeled vehicles known as kekes from Feb. 1. It would bar them from 40 bridges and flyovers and areas covering the business districts of Victoria Island and Lagos Island, Apapa, where the primary port is located and Ikeja, which is home to the international airport.

The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Lagos State Governor on New Media, Mr. Jubril Gawat in his shared tweet, said that "For people asking 'What of Alternatives?' Lagos State Govt says Buses will be rolled out for these areas but first thing is that, Transportation has to be SAFE & those areas will be adequately covered."

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