Professor Martin Oteng Ababio, a senior lecturer at the University of Ghana’s Department of Geography, has said the current legislative instrument banning okada in Ghana cannot stand the test of time due to its lack of research backing.
According to Professor Ababio, the heated debate on Okada legalisation indicates that no proper research was conducted before a law was passed in 2012 to ban the business.
“The truth of the matter is that any law that is not backed by research is bound to fail. The failure of this law is not surprising to some of us. I suggest we look at the law in its totality because I don’t foresee the current law standing the test of time in Ghana today and in the near future,” Professor Oteng Ababio stated in an interview on Citi FM Thursday, September 17, 2020.
In 2012, the then government of John Dramani Mahama passed a Legislative Instrument, 2180, which includes Section 128 (1) of the Road Traffic Regulations, 2012 that states: “The licensing authority shall not register a motorcycle to carry a fare-paying passenger.”
In the same year, Prof Ababio conducted research into the operations of Okada and made a recommendation that placing a ban on the business will be not good.
Eight years after the institution of the ban, the opposition National Democratic Congress and its flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama are promising to lift the ban and regularise okada if voted back to power come December 7.
The promise by the opposition party has led to a heated debate among Ghanaian voters with the ruling New Patriotic Party stating it has no plans to legalise Okada.
Arguing on why the government needs to take a second look at its position, Prof Ababio in the interview said, “Motorbikes are part of our transportation system and it will forever be part of it. The use of same for commercial purposes is the bone of contention now. Can we look at it and see how we can regulate it and for that matter? I agree with such calls because it is well regulated in other parts of the world. Otherwise, if we go with banter or banning and not banning, the problem will continue to exist.”