The Chairman of the Okada Riders Association, Mohammed Tijani, believes his trade has become too essential to remain unregulated.
“I believe in almighty God, they cannot ban okadas,”
Mr. Tijani noted that “today, deliveries are done by okada riders. Even if the President is not using okada, his family is using okada.”
In addition, he said, okadas were creating jobs in a saturated job market.
“Today, there are no jobs in Ghana. All places are choked, but we have created jobs, so we are pleading with them to consider us.”
“The okada people are creating jobs, so they should come out [and legalise it]. We are begging them,” Mr. Tijani said.
In a bid to phase out okadas, the government tried offering riders quadricycles under the CODA Drive initiative.
The CODA Drive initiative is hoping to get commercial motorcycle riders to give up their motorcycles for a Bajaj Qute vehicle on a hire-purchase basis.
Among the association’s concerns are that cars won’t solve the vehicular congestion challenges.
In 2012, the use of motorbikes for commercial transport in Ghana was outlawed under Regulation 128 (1 – 4) of Road Traffic Regulations 2012, which states: “The licensing authority shall not register a motorcycle to carry a fare-paying passenger.”
The debate on the legalisation of okada came up strongly during the run-up to the December 2020 general elections following a promise by the then Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress, John Mahama to allow it and regularise it.