- Nigeria is seeing an increase in the import of motorcycles after initial declines in 2021, which has been hinged on ban imposed in 2020
- The country spent about N74.6 billion importing motorcycles in three months in the first three months of 2022
- Analysts blamed the increase on the relaxed ban on motorcycles popularly called Okada across the country
In the first quarter of 2022, Nigeria has spent about N74.6 billion importing motorcycles, rising by 22 per cent from N61.25 billion recorded in the Q4 of 2021.
The figure in the first quarter of 2022 is indicative of a 37 per cent decline year-on-year as against the N117.65 billion recorded in the first quarter of 2021, according to a report by the Vanguard.
Okada, a veritable means of transport, employment
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) stated this in its Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics report which includes manufactured goods that were mainly imported from France and China worth N70.2 billion and N3.3 billion on motorcycles and other forms of cycles fitted with auxiliary motors.
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The increase in the motorcycle import bills has been steady since 2021 after it initially declined in the second quarter of 2021, though not unconnected with the ban in Lagos in 2020, analysts predict.
Experts say the reason for the increase is due to the fact that motorcycles, popularly called Okada, are mainly used for transport and a source of employment in the country.
Lagos goes tough on bikes
Many state governments have largely tried to restrict the use of motorcycles for transport purposes in Nigeria.
On June 1, 2022, Lagos State government began a phased ban of motorcycles on six local government areas and said it will extend it to the others in due time.
The six local governments listed by the governor are Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island, and Apapa.
Over 2,000 motorcycles of defiant riders were seized on the authorized date.
Okada ban: Lagos to Lose N4 billion daily to traffic, as security operatives clamp down on riders
Recall that Legit.ng has reported that as Lagos state residents come to the reality of the new directives by the state government to clamp down on motorcycle riders, popularly called Okada, analysts have pegged the loss that will be incurred by the state government at N4 billion.
The state government has been in a running battle with the riders in the state over their unruly behaviour and flagrant disregard for traffic rules and other offences.
In February 2020, the state government imposed a blanket ban on Okada and tricycle operators in 18 local government areas of the state, citing insecurity and other reasons for the ban.