I’ll make Okada business attractive-Mahama

Story: Reuben Sackey

Flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Mahama  says he will make ‘Okada’ business attractive by setting  up an electric motorbike assembling plant when elected president.

According to the former President, these electricity-powered motorbikes will replace the existing fuel-powered engines presently used for commercial activity.

Mr. Mahama indicated that the electric-powered bikes when successfully rolled out will reduce the cost involved in using ‘Okada’ and tricycles for transport.

“The good news is that I have spoken with two companies, they are going to open an assembling plant for electric motorbikes. That will be given out on hire purchase, work and pay, then you will pay in bits. Such motors don’t consume petrol, the battery will be charged down.

“When you ride and your battery falls, you can visit the exchange battery centre and then the battery will be taken out and replaced with a new one. You pay a small fee and then you continue with your work,” he explained.

Speaking to motorbike riders in Ashaiman, Mr. Mahama declared that the party has incorporated the legalization of Okada services into its 2024 manifesto.

He criticised the current government for failing to fulfill its promise of replacing motorbikes with cars

“We have in our manifesto that we will legalise “Okada”, but we lost the elections and so that promise was not fulfilled. Our opponents objected to it, claiming okada activities if operationalised will cause accidents.

“They instead promised to take your motorbikes and replace them with cars. Is that not what you were promised? Have you received the cars? It turned 419, we all know that this government is only good at telling lies.”

He also voiced his concerns regarding the nation’s unemployment rate since his departure from office in 2016.

 “The unemployment rate was 8.5% when I left office in 2016, now it’s 14.7% under Akufo-Addo-Bawumia’s government. If you were not engaged in this business, the over 1.7 million something engaged in okada, would have been part of the unemployed, if your business was abolished, the unemployment rate would have jumped higher to 25%.

“In East Africa, they have legalised it and they are working nicely. We can also legalise it, and regulate it in safety and security. When we assume power, we will legalise it. We have riding instructors, so the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) will go to the regions to train you on how to ride safely,” he assured.

He encouraged motorbike riders to adhere to the regulations that will be enforced under the forthcoming NDC administration.

“I’m pleading with you, when we legalise it, you have to follow the rules, and the passenger is also paramount. We will also assist those who don’t have a licence to get a licence”, he said.

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