By Joy Odor
The Kwara State Transport Sanitisation Committee (KSTSC) has warned that Okada Riders without the security-enabled identity uniforms with the six-digit number written on the new uniform jackets will not be allowed to operate in the State.
This was contained in a press statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday by the Secretary, Kwara State Transport Sanitization Committee, Mr Temi Kolawole.
He reminded the Okada Riders that the issuance of Free Uniforms are part of its strategies to ensure orderliness and strengthen security of lives and properties.
According to him, these identity uniforms are at zero cost to the riders and their associations.
The action, the KSTSC Secretary said, was Sequel to the influx of more commercial motorcycles (Okada) and tricycles (Keke Marwa) into the state after the recent partial ban in some states which prompted the Kwara State Government to madate data capture and issuing of identity uniforms with security features to commercial Okada riders in the state.
Mr Temi Kolawole warned that it only recognized the six-digit number written on the new uniform jackets and do not recognize any other numbering or naming done by the associations.
This six-digit code, the KSTSC Secretary said, would be tied to the transport operator identity cards and a publicly-searchable database to display the photo and details of all riders in the state to promote accountability and responsibility among transport operators in the State.
He stressed that the Committee, which was setup in June 2021, has been working on data capture and issuance of riders’ jackets (uniforms) to properly identify all operators within the transport sector and ensure that all operators are fully enumerated to enable the State have an overview of the best way to make this important sector key into the various developmental programmes of the State.
“Members of the public within the transport sector who wish to carry out their legitimate activities are advised to present themselves for biometrics and collection of uniforms and which will lead to the issuance of identity cards that assign unique identity to each rider.
“Government strongly believes that security of lives and security is its number one priority; therefore, its relationship with all persons and entities in the State shall be so guided.
“To that extent, the government has resolved to bring all categories of riders in the State under one recognized Union of Okada Riders Association of Nigeria (ORAN) to allow for proper management, monitoring, and public safety.
“We similarly frown at the falsehood that the state government mandated the purchase and use of Face Caps on Okada and Keke Napep riders in the State. This is not true and should be discountenanced.
“For emphasis, uniforms are being issued out to persons in this sector by the State are free. The government is therefore not party to anything that exploits anyone whatsoever” he noted.
Mr Temi Kolawole enjoined the members of the public to be wary of swindlers and enemies of peace who may parade themselves as either government agents or spokespersons.
He mentioned that the Kwara State Government recognised the law abiding and peace-loving Okada and Keke Napep operators as major stakeholders in the transport sector and would work with them to ensure easy movement of people, goods and services under a secure atmosphere.