Nigerian Federal Capital Territory Administration says commercial motorcycles (Okada) and tricycles (Keke Napep) remain banned from operating within the 250 square kilometres of the Federal Capital City, Abuja.
The Administration said that, tricycles and motorcycles, popularly called Okada and Keke would only operate outside the city centre and designated areas like estates and Area Councils respectively.
In a statement signed by Deputy Director Press, the Permanent Secretary of FCT Dr. Babatope Ajakaiye while meeting with the Executive Officers unions in Abuja said that, Abuja Master Plan did not make provision for Okada and Keke to ply in the city centre.
According to him “Okada remains banned throughout the Abuja city centre and Keke will not operate within the city centre too, except in designated areas like estates”.
Elaborating further on Abuja Master Plan, the Dr. Ajakaiye said that, “majority of the roads in Abuja city are express roads, the Abuja Master Plan and the Abuja Transportation Master Plan never envisaged the use of commercial motorcycles and Keke Napep.
Speaking on the risk attached to commercial motorcycles, he said they are injurious to the riders and the passengers; saying that, government has a duty to protect the lives and property of all her Citizens.
Stakeholders at the meeting resolved that no Okada and Keke riders must operate in the City Centre and they should immediately form Associations to be registered with the FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Services (VIO).
The meeting also agreed that, commercial riders of tricycle or motorcycle must belong to one of the Unions or Association for easy identification and control, particularly with the prevailing security situation in the country.
However, the Permanent Secretary advised the executives of the Unions to immediately commence the sensitisation of their members on the need to comply with these resolutions.
“As Executives, we want you to go to your members and tell them to please adhere to the rules and regulations. We want you to stay in the areas where you are allowed to do your business without molestation. If there is any reason where they are disturbing you in those areas, our doors are open to you. You are free to come and complain to us through your Executives and we will look at it,” he stressed.
For his part, the Chairman, FCT Chapter of the National Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association of Nigeria, Malam Musa Ibrahim lauded the step taken by FCT Administration in carrying all stakeholders along.
The Chairman noted that this was the way all government policies should go; describing the idea of the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello and FCT Permanent Secretary, Dr. Babatope Ajakaiye as “fatherly initiative”.