The Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, has revealed that the government has already started consultation on the possibility of legalizing the commercial motor bicycle transportation (Okada) before former President John Mahama made a promise to legalise it.
The NDC flagbearer, as part of his campaign activities ahead of this year’s elections, promised to legitimize the business because, in his view, it creates more jobs for the youth of this country.
“There are many young people who have finished school but can’t find any job, so they look for what they can do.
“There are many young people you see riding motorcycles and transporting people from place to place.
“But according to our laws, okada is illegal. But in reality, okada has become part of us. It has come to stay and you can’t stop it.
“So, I have suggested that when we come into office, we will legalize okada but we will regulate it.
“We will regulate it and give them the necessary training, so they are able to conduct their business in a safe manner. They must obey all the traffic regulations in order to be able to go about their profession,” he said.
But speaking to journalists after a hearing of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament on Wednesday, September 9, Mr Asiamah said: “We are not frightened about it. We are supposed to govern this country to the best of our ability.
“There are certain things that if you are doing you must get the buy-in of the people and in introducing such a policy, the law says that you must do a stakeholder consultation with persons with interest in it. We have already started consultations with people since 2019.
“But coming up with such a policy is not about speed but accuracy and getting the right people.”
He added: “When we are done engaging the experts and others, it will enable us to come up with a good policy. So let’s not compare these issues and say somebody has made a campaign promise, so we should come and respond to it.
“The law was passed in 2012 by the erstwhile NDC administration, but we as a government know that this is a matter we need to take our time to consult the people involved and come up with what is best for the nation.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana