Apapa Road:Okada riders take over, keep businesses alive
The dilapidation of the ports access roads has remained a clog in the wheel of progress for businesses survival in and around the Apapa area of Lagos, but the intervention of the motorcycle riders, otherwise known as Okada riders may have come to the rescue.
In recent times, many state governments have seen Okada operations as a menace to modern city development initiatives, such that the Lagos State Government under former Governor Babatunde Fashola banned motorcycle operations along major routes in the state.
Operators in Apapa, who spoke with The Guardian narrated their ordeal on account of the bad roads, which forced them to abandon their vehicles at home or nearby public car park in favour of the motor cycles.
A top official of a seaport terminal, Musa Kabir, said: “I am sick and tired of this nuisance. In fact, coming to Apapa daily has become a herculean task greater than official commitments. What I do is to park at the National Stadium, and take a bike down to Apapa. I do the same while going home, and also have to pay for parking. You can imagine what someone has to face with this scenario on daily basis. It is sad, indeed,”
Oluwatoyin Ajayi, a clearing agent said the commercial buses could only take commuters to Coconut bus stop, where everybody finds his way through Okada to various destinations.
According to her, the drivers and riders have thrown caution to the wind, as everyone finds available way to move on. “One-way is no more an offence because there is not option if you want to get to where you are going,” she said.
An Okada rider, who is benefitting from the situation, Adamu Ayuba, said the he earns about N5000 –N7000 daily from the business, but decried the recklessness of the heavy duty vehicles, which he claimed have killed many people on the road.
The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, had last week decried the slow pace of work on the Wharf Road.
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