The Anambra State Government has said that enforcement of the order banning the use of motorcycles in Onitsha and Awka remains Sunday, July 1, the Commissioner for Transport, Mr Uchenna Okafor, has said.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that Okafor made government’s stand know at a meeting with leaders of the Motorcycle Transport Union of Nigeria (MTUN) on Wednesday in Awka.
He said that security operatives had been authorised to impound any motorcycle being used within the two towns.
The commissioner maintained that the ban was due to security concerns expressed by residents of the state, adding that no week passed without complaints of robbery involving motorcyclists.
Okafor allayed the fears of the operators, saying that the state government had bought 1,000 shuttle buses for distribution to commercial motorcycle operators through Anambra State Small Business Agency.
“The vehicles will be distributed to those that will be affected by the government decision to ensure they have alternative means of livelihood.
“This meeting is therefore an opportunity to interact with you and also seek your support in helping to identify genuine `okada (motorcycle) riders in the areas covered by the ban’’, he said.
The commissioner said each of the 1,000 shuttle buses had a value of N750,000 and that each beneficiary would be required to pay an initial N100,000.
The commissioner announced that the Ministry of Transport in collaboration with the Vehicle Inspection Officers and Federal Road Safety Corps would organise a week-long training programme for the riders.
He said that only those who passed through motor driving training would be allowed to ply the roads.
He explained that the ban would affect both commercial and private motorcyclists in affected areas.
In their reactions, Chief John Onedibe, Jude Udeagbe, national and state officers of MTUN respectively called for an extension of time for the enforcement of the ban from July 1 to January 2019.
They, however, expressed happiness that the government was carrying the union along in the implementation of the order.