The Anambra State Government has announced the extension of ban on commercial motorcycle operators to Nnewi and Ekwulobia.
The Commissioner for Information, Paul Nwosu, stated this in a statement he signed and made available to journalists, on Tuesday.
The state government before now had already banned commercial motorcyclists in Onitsha and Awka, a policy that had been effectively operational.
The Nnewi community is home to various motorcycle manufacturing firms and spare part plants.
Nwosu said the development became necessary because of the increasing wave of crime and accidents occasioned by the recklessness of the motorcyclists in the state.
He added that it was one of the resolutions reached at the state executive council meeting.
The statement read in part, “It has come to the notice of government that commercial motorcycle riders, popularly known as ‘Okada’ have gradually found their ways back on our roads in Awka, Onitsha, Nnewi and Ekwulobia.
“Their recklessness owing to lack of riding training and ignorance of traffic signs are beginning to produce high rate of avoidable accidents on our roads.
“Added to this is the fact that ‘Okada’ has been fingered several times by law enforcement agents as being the major conveyor belt through which criminals ply their nefarious businesses.
“In the light of these ugly trends, government hereby restates and reiterates that the ban on commercial motorcycles in our major cities such as Awka, Onitsha, Nnewi and Ekwulobia is still in force. Anyone caught violating them will be made to face the full wrath of the law.
“For an area like Nnewi where private motorcycles are means of commuting to places of work and business, the rider must wear a crash helmet to protect the head in case of accident.
“Companies involved in courier services, dispatch services and home deliveries must register with the Ministry of Transport and have their riders properly kitted up.
“The motorcycle operators may ply the sub urban and rural areas where motor transport is scarce, but plan is underway to have them enumerated and branded in order to determine the genuine commercial motorcyclists and be able to track any operator who is involved in breaching the law.”