The National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) wants the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to make available its blueprint for the legalisation of the use of motorbikes popularly known as ‘okada’ for business purposes in Ghana.
The Authority has opposed the proposal for the legalisation of okada based on safety concerns.
In an interview with Citi News, the Director of Planning and Programming at the Road Safety Authority, David Osafo Adonteng indicated that the law can be reviewed provided the proposals adequately address safety concerns .
“Anybody who comes up with a directive must give further reasons and backing. If you want to legalise, how do we legalise it? How do you ensure that we enforce it? I don’t think making the statement ends there. We need to interrogate further and know what goes into the regulation. We need to be ready in terms of infrastructure, training, gadgets, resources and so on. But are we ready? Someone said he is not legalising but on what grounds are you not legalising and what alternative are you bringing? So let’s interrogate the alternative and if it makes sense then that is where we go together as Ghana. But if it doesn’t then that becomes another thing. So if we want to go into it, then we should be convinced that it will be protecting human lives and property.”
Meanwhile, the Authority noted that ongoing consultations on a possible review of the law are necessary despite pronouncements by the Vice President that the government will not review the ban on okada business .
“I still believe in the consultative process. The consultation is looking for input from all Ghanaians, all stakeholders and interest groups across the country. Eventually, it will come out with a certain position that will mean whether to legalise it or not. But we need to put in a certain mechanism to be able to interrogate what is on the ground.”
Proper transport plan needed
An economist, Dr. Adu Owusu Sarkodie has urged the NDC to come up with a more substantive plan for the transport sector than simply legalising commercial motor transport.
He says he is against the opposition's plan to legalise okada operations.
“If they are saying they are going to legalise it because it has come to stay, that I will not support.”
Dr. Sarkodie also said it was not prudent to compare Ghana to other countries like Nigeria that have mainstream use of okada.
“I have heard people say we should legalise okada because okada has come to stay. I do not support this argument. Nigeria is not our model. What is the Ghana model in terms of transportation?