Former president John Dramani Mahama has insisted that the renowned Okada business which is illegal per the laws of the country has created more jobs than the recently implemented NaBCo.
The former leader who in a recent address to the people of Kpando in the Volta region promised to legalize the much-dreaded business came under public scrutiny for his remarks.
But he remain unfazed and resolute as he has insisted in a separate interaction that the Okada business has created more employment avenues than any of the employment-based programs of government, including the YEA.
The Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo) which was launched by the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia government in May 2018 targeted over 100,000 unemployed graduates with a monthly stipend of about GHC700.
John Mahama, while defending his plans to legalise the unpopular mode of transport in an interview with Woesor TV Sunday, August 23, 2020 said
“why behave like the turkey and bury your head in the sand? This pragyas, Aboboyaa, okadas have created more jobs in this economy than any government job-related policy. It has created more jobs than NaBCo, YEA and all those artificial job creation programs…”
Giving reasons for his new plan he said people involved in this genuine line of business often suffer harassment from personnel of the Ghana Police Service.
Thus regulating it would prove more sustainable and effective as it has come to stay.
He said, “…these young people live under harassment because it’s illegal and so the police stop them, they take money from them and so my suggestion is that why do we behave like the ostrich? Let us legalise it and let us regulate it, let’s make it safer…”
Mr Mahama remarked that as a prelude to the full legalization of the Okada business if he is elected, persons involved must be “trained on how to ride a motor cycle properly…he must have safety precautions…they must not overload the motor cycle…they must identify that this is a commercial motorcycle so that we know that they’re following the rules…they must obey all traffic regulations…”
In terms of adherence to the laws, Mr Mahama indicated that person who flout the rules of the business will have their licenses revoked.
This he believes “…will bring some discipline into the sector.”
Meanwhile, Parliament in 2012 approved a legislative proposal by the government to pass the Road Traffic Regulations, 2012 (Legislative Instrument 2180) to regulate road transport in the country.
Pursuant to this, Sections 128 (1), (2) and (3) of the L.I. 2180, prohibited the use of motorcycle or tricycle, or what has been popularly known as “Okada” for commercial purposes.
However, in March 2019, members of the minority in Parliament called for the amendment of the country’s road traffic laws to accommodate the Okada business but that has not materialized.