The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, yesterday charged states and local councils in the country to integrate motorcycles and tricycles operations into the transportation system rather than ban them.
Amaechi said this in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital at the official commissioning of the state Secretariat of Amalgamated Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners Repairs and Riders Association of Nigeria (ACOMORAN). He said all motorcycle and tricycle riders must only be properly trained and licensed.
The minister, who acknowledged the contribution of motorcycle and tricycle operators to nation building and development, added that they serve as primary means of transportation in many parts of the country.
Amaechi who was represented by the Deputy Director, Mass Transit Administration in the ministry, Foluke Oni, said it was rational to allow the people to choose any means of transportation that suited them.
“There is the need for states and local governments to integrate the tricycles and motor cycles operations into their mode of transportation and should begin to think more on how to enhance their operations rather than thinking of phasing them out.
“Tricycles and motorcycles are important in the area of provision of essential and easy to reach transportation all over the country.
“There is need, therefore, to advocate for compliance with safety regulations and continuous use of helmet so as to minimise the impact of any serious injury in the event of the crash,” he said.
He also said there was the need for drivers to be properly trained on safe driving, traffic regulation, road safety and ensure they are properly licensed before carrying passengers coupled with insurance cover for not only the riders but also the passengers.
“Just like in the developed nations, we should ensure that the people have the opportunity of choosing the form of transportation that best suits them.
“There is need, therefore, for greater understanding of inevitable presence of tricycles and motorcycles operators for an improved and affordable transportation access for rural and some urban dwellers,” he stated.
A member of the House of Representatives, Abdul Kabir Kunle Akinlade, representing Yewa South / Ipokia federal constituency of the State also noted that the riders must be integrated in the system, insisting that many of them are employers of labour in the trade.
He explained that if they were phased out, it would contribute to increasing high rate of unemployment in the country.Responding, Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, urged the Okada and tricycle riders to cooperate with transport agencies and security agencies for smooth transportation system.