Policy Gaffe

How A Rash Ban On Bike-Hailing Is Ageing Badly In Lagos

By  |  June 6, 2022

In the early hours of Wednesday, June 1, John Odeh, 37, got on the battered but serviceable Suzuki motorbike which he has ridden for years to put food on his family’s table. But on that day, he hit the road with a bit more caution than usual.

For nearly a decade, Odeh has worked as a commercial motorcycle (Okada) operator in the Iyana Ipaja area; a popular Lagos suburb, making around NGN 4 K daily (~USD 9.5, per the official rate) after expenses these days. However, his primary means of livelihood was effectively a crime as of that Wednesday, by order of the Lagos State Government.

After last month’s tragic incident that saw a young Sound Engineer identified as David Sunday Imoh lose his life under gruesome circumstances sparked by an altercation with a motorbike taxi operator in Lekki Phase I, the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had, in a meeting with local security chiefs on May 18, declared a total and indefinite ban on Okada across large swathes of the State, st...

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