HOW GHANA CAN LEARN FROM NIGERIA- THE USE AND HISTORY OF OKADA MOTORBIKES
Ghana and Nigeria are like Fufu and Soup: We are so much attached to each other that we are always making efforts to know what happens in each others' country. Learning from each others experience in politics, economics and social developments and other national and local policy programmes. Ghanaians and Nigerians love our education, be it traditional or formal and we love to share: In Sports, especially football ( soccer) the rivarly is like nothing else: Let Ghana Black Stars play Nigeria Green Eagles and nobody including our President will sleep till the match is over: In religious sector, Nigeria T. B. Joshua's link to our current President Mills and his Emmanuel TV shows is impacting Ghana's religious beliefs: In the arts,2Face and a number of Naija's musicians are hot names in Ghana and the same is true of many Ghanaian hiplife artistes Tic Tac, Reggie etc as hot names in Naija. Collaborations in film making is bringing the two nations together: It is against this background that we are sharing this article about an important sector in the Nigerian transportation system that Ghana can learn from to ease traffic congestion: In Nigeria, commercial motorbikes are referred to as Okada. For the many Ghanaians who travelled and lived in Nigeria in the 70s through to the 90s, the sight of Molu and Okada motorbikes brings a lot of memories, some sweet others bitter? What most of us do not know are the following: Why the name Okada? How did it originate? This article attempts to shed light on all these questions: Enjoy a good read:
Okada is the name of a village in Edo State of Nigeria. Gabriel Egbinedion, one of Nigeria's first known millionaires and the father of the Lucky Egbinedion, former Governor of the state, hails from Okada village. In the eighties his millions led him to establish the first domestic airline in Nigeria. It was known as Okada Airline.
Lagos the old administrative capital of Nigeria is notorious for traffic congestions. The traffic congestion of Lagos is one reason why the federal government of Nigeria decided to move the capital to Abuja in the heart of the nation.
Commercial motorbikes in Nigeria originated as a solution to the search for a way of beating the traffic congestion that often delayed people who wanted to reach their offices in time. The bikes actually solved the problem for those who engaged them. You arrive your destination in time. It was like travelling by crow fly as airlines do. It was like flying via Okada airline.
As the years went by, the convenience intra-city travel by these bikes ensured that travelling by commercial motorbikes spread from Lagos to other parts of the country. Across the nation, the business is known by different names depending on the locality. In central Nigeria, particularly in Plateau State, the trade is referred to as going. As one moves into the land of the Hausas, he discovers that the trade is referred to as Achaba. The name Okada Is however ubiquitous and people are increasingly discarding local slangs in favour of it.
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