Lagos govt defends okada ban, says youths no longer learn tailoring, bricklaying

Lagos govt defends okada ban, says youths no longer learn tailoring, bricklaying

- The Lagos state government has given answers to the questions on the lips of many Lagosians following the ban on okadas and keke napeps

- According to the Sanwo-Olu led government, the okada business is not an enduring trade

- The government noted that youths have abandoned the trades like tailoring, bricklaying, printing, painting and others

- Okada is not part of our greater Lagos journey, the state government has declared

Many Lagosians are yet to come to the terms with the state government's ban on tricycles and okada (motorcycle), including ORide and Gokada in 15 local councils.

The ban was announced on Monday, January 27, by the Lagos state government and it takes effect from February 1.

Many have condemned the state government for this action, saying it will increase the rate of crime in the state as no palliative measures were put in place to cushion the effect it will have on those whose livelihood depends on riding okadas and tricycles popularly called keke napep.

In a series of tweets on Friday, January 31, the Lagos state government gave answers to the like questions being asked by people.

On why motorbike hailing services like Oride, Gokada and others were affected, the government said they were part of the problem. It said they were not part of the greater Lagos journey on which the state has embarked.

The truth is that okada, no matter what fanciful name it’s called, is not part of our greater Lagos journey on which we have embarked,” it said.

Our youths no longer learn the trades we used to be proud of- tailoring, bricklaying, printing, painting and others. Now we get artisans from neighbouring countries. Okada is not an enduring trade," it said.

Asked why there were no alternatives in place before embarking on the ban, it said things were bad already, and the government could not fold its arm and watch it get worse.

"The security of lives of Lagosians is of paramount interest to the Governor Babjide Sanwo-Olu's administration. This is why it is moving to stop the first slide into lawlessness"

Regarding those who may become jobless because of the ban, the Lagos government said there were programmes in place for the unemployed.

The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, LSETF, is very active, helping many to set up their businesses with cheap funds.

“The ministry of women affairs and poverty alleviation has also been doing so much training young women in various trades and giving them some money to set up,” it added.

Responding to the fears of people about the rate of crime increasing, the state government assured that it will not.

It said okadas were used to carry out criminal activities and the figures of such from the police were scary.

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According to the government, it is ready to deal with anybody who plans on taking to crime because he lost his okada job.

Recall that Nigerians had taken to social media to share their opinion on the ban. Nigerian celebrities like Bolanle Olukanni and Big Brother Naija stars, Ifu Ennada and Leo Dasilva, also added their views on different social media platforms.

While many criticised the action, a few were in support of the government's action.

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