The Flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Former President John Dramani Mahama is calling for a review of provisions outlawing the use of motorbikes for commercial transport, otherwise called ‘okada’ in Ghana.
Speaking on his tour in the volta Region , he said the Okada riders should obey all road regulations and will make sure their operations are legal when voted into power in 2021.
He added that the legalisation of motorcycles [Okada] for commercial purposes “can generate revenue and create jobs to address the unemployment challenges in the country.”
The law may have outlived its usefulness given the crucial roles motorbikes are playing in the whole transportation mix of nearby and distant countries, while reasons offered for clamping down on the practice in Ghana, such as spate of accidents and the use of motorbikes to commit crimes, do not hold water.
Ghana in 2012 outlawed the use of motorbikes for commercial transport, providing in Section 128 (1) of the Road Traffic Regulations, 2012 that "The licensing authority shall not register a motorcycle to carry a fare-paying passenger."
The law also prohibits any person from using a motorcycle or tricycle for commercial purposes except for courier and delivery services, while it also prohibits pillions from riding on a motorcycle or tricycle as paying passengers. Offenders are liable to fines or imprisonment.