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40,000 Commercial Motorcycle Riders will become Jobless with the Implementation of Lagos State Traffic Law – Riders Association



Ever since the new Lagos State Traffic Law was introduced, several motorists and road users have complained about its stiff rules and penalties. At the forefront of the groups who are not in support of some provisions of the law are the commercial motorcycle riders popularly called Okada riders.

The Okada riders under the aegis of Nigerians Auto Bike Commercial Owners and Workers Association (NACOWA), have said about 40,000 of its members will be forced out of business by the new Lagos State Traffic Law.

Mr. Aliyu Wamba, the leader of the association told Punch that the association had about 40,000 members in Lagos and if the state government goes ahead with the law, the rippling effect of them losing their jobs would run in to hundreds of thousands of people as most of them are bread winners of their families.

NACOWA is just one of the six riders associations in the state. If the figures of members of other associations are added up, it would amount to over a hundred thousand Okada riders in the state. This puts commercial motorcycle riding as one of the highest employers of labour in the state.

Mr. Wamba said that the section of the Lagos State Traffic Law which they had a grievance with was the one that prohibited their operations on major highways. He added that they were ready to comply with other provisions of the law.

“We have been banned from operating on about 95 per cent of roads in Lagos and if the law is implemented, automatically, we are out of business. I think the government has to consider the economic and security implications of the policy,” he said.

40,000 people losing their source of livelihood in one state is definitely a huge number. This could result in a rise in crime rates and other ripple negative effects for the state.

Do you think the Lagos State Government should bend the Traffic Laws to allow the unrestricted operation of Okada riders in the state?

Photo Credit: Channels TV

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. MEE

    September 16, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    The LASG should ban them kpatakpata

  2. faith

    September 16, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    I Foresee crime Rate in Lagos skyrocketinG if d lAw is iMplemented n that number of GUYS r out of job!!! SCARY!!!!!

  3. Future Economist

    September 16, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Nigeria is finally moving forward.
    There is a trade off. This new law will massively reduce accidental rates, at the expense of increasing crime rates.
    However, with the introduction of training schools and insurance policies put forward (if it must be that every okada rider must be certified by a school that is specialized in teaching how to ride safely, and every okada rider must be registered under an insurance company), jobs could be secured and roads made safer.

  4. lol

    September 16, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    shey u ppl r ready to find them a new job, i mean with the amount of unemployment in nij is not enof u need 2 add more..i think they should focus more on fixing the roads and adjusting dat law, 95% is too much!! not realistic at all..u don’t want 2 see an hungry man at his worst, i care bout my fellow nigerians oo

  5. Amber

    September 16, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    O yes,the damages being done by them are a lot from reckless riding,to kidnapping to robbery .the fewer the better abeg

  6. nich

    September 16, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Bad news in Nigeria all the time…..

  7. janded

    September 16, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Now armed robberies will be on the rise

  8. OLA

    September 16, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    it just matter of time…..bear with Lagos state government…more news and gist here at

  9. Mr Universe

    September 16, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    These men are only in this business because they have identified a need. If the government can find a way to satisfy this need then they would gradually go out of business and find other means of employment.

  10. R

    September 16, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    While many okada drivers drive recklessly, it’s an issue if so many of them are put out of work. Is the government creating other job avenues for them? The last thing we need is for people to resort to illegal means to put food on their table

  11. Uchenna

    September 16, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    La gvt thinks the are doing well, but if u ask me, they are not in work for one Day and let me tell them election will soon come them we will try pdp. For sure they will loose lag.

  12. habba!

    September 16, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    they should also round them up and send them back to their villages!! ive had enough! LAGOS should be free of illiterates! i know if they dont go back to their villages they are going to become Armed Robbers or ritualist accomplices! Government should give them job training for something else! Lagos should be the Jewel of NIgeria and with these okada men we are just soo filthy and raz!

  13. Okwong George

    September 16, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    I do not think there is any society in the world that abhors development. In view of that fact the okada riders will ultimately be forced to look for other means of livelihood. The earlier this is done the better for everyone.

  14. Drpeperempe

    September 17, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Much as I empathize with the okada riders, I must say that they are largely more of a nuisance than good. The way they scurry around like rats in a brooklyn alley, the amount of crimes they already commit and the fact that all those banned from abuja packed their cycles and landed in lagos is scary. When I was younger, I dont remember seeing okadas in lagos, Im sure they will find something else to do. In my opinion, Naija’s can be quite scared of change. If they is no longer use for ur trade, be innovative. This is why those daft bats selling generators don’t want the electricity fixed, or the interstate bus companies don’t want proper rail systems. shish!

  15. jane

    September 17, 2012 at 3:09 am

    its so easy for us to say that they should find another job but we dont realze the few opportunities for these young men.instead of getting rid of them,why not work with riders association in stiplating training sessions for them on road safety.Put fines for misbehaviour..this excessive ridding could just increase crime rate and push the problem on another section of society but it will not solve anything. I think its is too drastic

  16. Tunmi

    September 17, 2012 at 4:48 am

    oh wow. so your job can be easily taken away as well right? Well, it happened with the doctors so why not with the Okada riders. Lagos roads are bad and it has started enforcing traffic laws…those should be the priority not forcing okada riders off the roads. These are people’s lives you know. I guess it’s alright since they don’t worth much. smh.

  17. Style and Class

    September 17, 2012 at 5:47 am

    great idea but these men definitely need jobs.

  18. wale

    September 17, 2012 at 7:42 am

    I am always baffled when it comes to commenting on issues bothering us in Nigeria.People are too emotion ed than realistic with sensitive issues.Remember these same Okada riders were banned in the FCT,Rivers, Cross river,Imo and few others and they all flocked into Lagos state. Yet the LASG only restrict them to certain roads and they are complaining, What if it is outright ban, what can they do ? NOTHING.If you rob you get caught you face the Law Period!!

  19. naijasportsgists

    September 17, 2012 at 8:48 am

    What profession would they now go into? Quite obvious. They had better re-energize the security apparatus.

  20. Traditionalbay

    September 17, 2012 at 9:26 am

    @ Mr Universe, u were constructive. simples!

  21. pynk

    September 17, 2012 at 9:32 am

    they need to simply provide free training schools for these people. If you take them off the streets, crime will likely quadruple. Its better for them to attempt to make a honest living.

  22. lilz

    September 17, 2012 at 9:58 am

    All i know is that its a good way of depopulating the state and I’m in full support..these bike riders drive recklessly 99.9% of the time..its a good way to bring sanity also.
    I would also support a complete ban

  23. cathy

    September 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Still waiting for the day they will say ”vacancies open to 300,000 people”. that day hmmmmm

  24. Lacole

    September 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Much as i feel or emphasize with the okada people, the town is already congested even without them so when they come in, the town is impossible. There is traffic every time meaning everything is gong slow. My worry is what will the 40,000 do, or is the government offering them alternative jobs?

  25. segun adenolas

    October 23, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    Well,let de govt stop dem. So dat there won’t be accident.

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