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Again, Governor Sanwo-Olu Bans Okada in Lekki, Ikeja, Others

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Bans Okada

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has announced a total ban on operations of commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, in Lekki and other places.

At a meeting on Wednesday, he said the directive will become effective from June 1, 2022, and affects six Local Government Areas (LGAs) and nine Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) of the state.

According to him, okada riders will not be allowed to ply highways in these areas, which include Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, and Apapa.

The action of the governor followed the growing menace and nuisance constituted by commercial motorcycles in the state, including the lynching of a Sound Engineer, Mr David Imoh, in the Lekki area of the state last week.

This is not the first time Mr Sanwo-Olu is restricting operations of commercial motorcycles as in February 2020, he banned Okada operations in the state.

At the meeting with the Commissioner of Police, Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) at the State House in Alausa today, the Governor said the state government would not condone any security formation that relaxes the new ban in its jurisdiction.

“After critical review of our restriction on Okada activities in the first six Local Government Areas where we restricted them on February 1, 2020, we have seen that the menace has not abated. We are now directing a total ban on Okada activities across the highways and bridges within these six Local Governments and their Local Council Development Areas, effective from June 1, 2022.

“This is a phased ban we are embarking on this period, and we expect that within the short while when this ban will be enforced, Okada riders in other places where their activities are yet to be banned can find something else to do. We have given the notice now and we expect all commercial motorcycles plying the routes in the listed councils and areas to vacate the highways before enforcement begins. The enforcement will be total,” he said.

Mr Sanwo-Olu advised residents patronising Okada riders on highways to embrace the alternative transport schemes already provided by the government to plan their journey.

He said the government had provided last mile buses, medium-capacity and high-capacity buses in the affected areas for the convenience of commuters.

The Governor insisted that Okada riding on the highways remained unsafe and would no longer be tolerated, noting that the state government had been ramping up construction work on its two rail line projects to further increase the choices of commuting for residents.

“We have provided last-mile buses in the affected areas; they are working and effective. We also have medium-capacity buses and high-capacity buses working in these areas. Before the end of the year, we are also bringing the rail along these corridors with their terminals. We have provided jetties as well to provide alternatives.

“We will not sit back and watch criminally-minded people use that mode of transportation (motorcycles) to perpetrate crimes and criminality in Lagos.

“Lives are being lost on a daily basis, preventable accidents are happening every day and the riders are not respecting any of our traffic laws. The situation has led to a complete breakdown of law and order. This ban has come to stay and we will not tolerate any weakness in enforcement,” he said.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr Abiodun Alabi, directed his men to ensure complete enforcement of the Governor’s order in the listed councils and areas.

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Oyo to Register Commercial Motorcycle Riders, Capture Fingerprints, Others

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commercial motorcycle riders

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Very soon, commercial motorcycle riders in Oyo State will require identification numbers and registration jackets to ply their trades in the state.

This is part of efforts to curb every form of criminality and other social vices and regulate the activities of commercial motorcyclists to also prevent the breakdown of law and order.

Business Post gathered that the registration will require each commercial bike rider’s name, address, fingerprint, passport-sized photograph, and a unique ID number.

At a stakeholders’ meeting with over 100 commercial riders’ association leaders in Ibadan on Thursday, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr Musibau Babatunde, said the registration is part of the Oyo State government’s drive to ensure the effectiveness of the ongoing state-wide residents’ registration programme, saying the exercise will help in planning properly for the security architecture of the state, in the long-run.

“States across the south-west have been banning operations of commercial motorcyclists, but we know that will have its own socio-economic challenges. So rather than banning them, we felt it is pertinent to know the number of bike riders in the State and use that for our security architecture,” he said.

The Commissioner added that there are multi-dimensional benefits accruable to the registration exercise, both for the motorcyclists and the state, in terms of security and economic planning.

Also, his counterpart in the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Wasiu Olatubosun, explained that the registration will help regulate the influx of commercial motorcyclists into the state.

Mr Olatubosun emphasised that the registration will be free, adding that the proactive approach to regulating the activities of commercial motorcyclists by Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration will prevent the breakdown of law and order.

“We will set up a task force consisting of both the union and other relevant agencies that will make sure that unregistered riders don’t operate within the state,” he said.

On his part, the Special Assistant to the Governor on ICT and e-Governance, Mr Bayo Akande, said that the registration process was initiated by the state government to distinguish every rider operating in the state.

“Actually, registration exercises had commenced months back at every Local government and office of the Oyo State Road Transport Management Authority. All is now set to provide numbered jackets, in order to identify riders who are duly registered with the state,” the Governor’s aide said.

He said part of the dividends of the registration is the provision of health insurance and other palliatives for riders in the state.

Responding on behalf of the Okada riders, Mr Yusuf Muritala, commended Governor Makinde for not considering a ban on their activities, assuring that his colleagues are ready to cooperate with the state government to register.

He, therefore, expressed the readiness of the commercial motorcycle riders in Oyo State to abide by the rules and regulations established by the government to regulate the activities of their operations, pledging the support of all motorcyclist associations in the state to the government.

However, Mr Muritala appealed to the consultant in charge of the registration exercise to work with leaders in each zone to ensure an expansion of registration points for commercial motorcyclists.

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Lagos to Crush 250 Commercial, Power Bikes

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power bikes

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

About 250 commercial and power bikes have been seized by the Lagos State Taskforce for various violations and would be crushed this weekend at the taskforce crushing site in Alausa, Ikeja.

This was disclosed by the chairman of the taskforce, Mr Shola Jejeloye, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), during a visit to the headquarters of the agency in Bolade Oshodi.

Mr Jejeloye said despite the focus on commercial motorcycles, popularly known as ‘Okada’, the State Transport Sector reform laws prohibit motorbikes of any capacity from plying one-way.

According to him, power bikes and motorcycles with capacity above the required standard were confiscated for either driving against traffic (one-way), conveying passengers or plying BRT corridors across the State.

“Riding a power bike does not make you immune to traffic laws of the state, especially when it has to do with riding against traffic on one-way, which is highly dangerous to road users and even pedestrians.

“Any motorbike violating the State traffic laws will be met with the same level of punishment as the Okada riders,” he stated.

The Chairman further disclosed that dispatch riders who have seized the opportunity of the absence of Okada on the highways to transport commuters on their bikes would also have their motorbikes impounded.

He urged all dispatch and delivery bike owners to warn their riders to desist from lifting passengers or risk forfeiting the bikes to the state government, stressing that anyone caught contravening the traffic laws of the State will not be spared.

The police officer used the occasion to reiterate the commitment of the taskforce to enforce the ban on the activities of commercial motorcycle operators in six local governments and nine local council development areas of the state by expanding its tentacles to power bikes and dispatch riders who violate the Traffic Law.

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Union Bank Rejigs Board as Titan Trust Bank Takes Full Control

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Union Bank of Nigeria New Logo

By Dipo Olowookere

An old generation lender, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, has announced a significant change to the composition of its board of directors following the transfer of 93.41 per cent of the bank’s issued share capital to Titan Trust Bank Limited.

In a statement, Union Bank said 10 board members of the company have retired to pave a way for nominees of the new owners.

The Chairman of the firm, Mrs Beatrice Hamza Bassey as well as the chief executive officer, Mr Emeka Okonkwo, will no longer be on the board with effect from Thursday, June 2, 2022.

Mr Okonkwo, who implemented the bank’s new strategy focused on regional coverage and continued the growth trajectory, has expressed his desire to support the new CEO and core investor.

Others who retire from the board include Mrs Obafunke Alade-Adeyefa, an independent non-executive director; Mr Richard Burrett, a non-executive director; Mr Ian Clyne, a non-executive director; Mr Kenroy Dowers, a non-executive director; Mr Paul Kokoricha, a non-executive director, Mr Taimoor Labib, a non-executive director; Mr Mark Patterson, a non-executive director; and Mr Emeka Ogbechie, a non-executive director.

It was gathered that the bank has appointed Mr Mudassir Amray as the CEO of Union Bank effective June 2, 2022. He is a seasoned banker with well-rounded exposure of over 25 years in senior management roles and a proven track record of adaptability in six geographies (USA, Nigeria, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Pakistan) in the course of his career at Citibank and other foreign and local banks, according to a notice from the firm.

Prior to his latest appointment, he led the establishment of Titan Trust Bank Limited and subsequently became the bank’s pioneer CEO in October 2019.

Also, Union Bank has confirmed Mr Farouk Mohammed Gumel as its new Chairman. He is the Group Executive Director for TGI Group and also the Chairman of Wacot Rice Ltd, a subsidiary company of TGI Group, and non-executive chairman at the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

Prior to joining TGI, Mr Gumel was a Partner at PwC and Head of the West African Advisory/Consulting business, covering Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Angola.

The two will be assisted on the board by Mr Andrew Ojei, a non-executive director; Mr Abubakar Mohammed, a non-executive director; and Mr Lawrence Mackombo, a non-executive director.

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