The Motor Transport and Traffic Department, MTTD, says it will be challenging to regulate the commercial motorbike business aka okada as the debate on whether or not to legalise it rages.
Head of Research and Programmes at the MTTD Alexander Obeng said it will take more than regulation to legalise okada business in Ghana.
Speaking to JoyNews he stated that there are other factors to consider including the training of police personnel to enforce the law, deployment and others.
“Elsewhere where such experience is being practised, it is not only traffic police officer deployment. It is also about certain regulatory measure, sometimes institutional.”
His reaction comes after former President John Mahama promised his government will legalise the commercial operation of motorbikes popularly known as Okada if voted into power in 2021.
According to him, the Okada business has become a means of sustenance for young people who are unemployed.
Addressing people during his tour of Kpando in the Volta Region, he stated that “our law says okada is illegal, but it is a reality it has come to stay and you can’t stop it. So, I say when we come into office, we legalise it but we will regulate it.”
However, many people have kicked against the former president’s idea labeling it as reckless and a threat to lives of Ghanaians.
Transport Consultant and road safety expert Cecil Gabrah warned against the use of regularisation of the Okada business to lure the youth for votes.
“The risk involved is too high. In Accra alone we have a lot of very fatal cases. Speak to Korle Bu Teaching and 37 Military Hospital and they will give you the daily statistics of fatalities,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senior Vice-President of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil said if government is not ready to “legalise and properly regulate this important transport and economically viable sub sector, then they are not prepared to run a country like Ghana”.
The lawyer indicated his support for the popular Okada business in a Facebook post, Tuesday.
However, Mr Bentil admitted it will not be an easy road to take.