The Transport Ministry has said it will commence a consultation exercise with stakeholders on the legalisation of commercial motorcycle business, popularly known as ‘Okada’ in the country.

The engagement, which the government says is going into its second phase, is geared towards seeking the inputs of all agencies and organisations concerned.

John Mahama in August promised his government will legalise the commercial operation if voted into power in 2021.

According to him, the Okada business has become a means of sustenance for young people who are unemployed.

His comments generated mixed reactions from Ghanaians with one section throwing their support behind it while another called for the implementation of the law banning the okada operation.

But government says talks have already begun under the Akufo-led administration which was curtailed temporarily because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Parliament in 2012 passed the Road Traffic Regulation 2012, L.I.2180 to render the operation of commercial motorcycle businesses illegal.

In a press release Friday, government said it had already “sought to assess the implementation of the Road Traffic Regulations, and, in the process, needed to consult stakeholders, industry players and interest groups on the provisions in the law.”

Some of the groups said to have been involved in the process include the Ghana Institute of Planners, Ghana Automobile Dealers Association, Ghana National Association of Driving Schools, Ghana Association of Driving Instructors, National Road Safety Authority, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority, Motor Traffic and Transport Department and Okada Riders Association among others.

According to a September 11 statement, “the Ministry, between March and November 2019, held consultations with various organisations, regional administrations and local authorities.”

“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the final stage of the stakeholder engagement is expected to commence in October 2020, and a report presented before Cabinet for consideration.”

However, government says the second part of the consultations will take place in October in the six new regions following which a report will be presented to Cabinet.