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Okada riders reject government’s mini cars – Leader of Okada Riders claims

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Okada riders reject government’s mini cars – Leader of Okada Riders claims

The leader of Okada Riders Association, Michael Kofi Owusu claims his people (okada riders) are not interested in exchanging their motorcycles for the new mini-cars the government has introduced.

The government through the Coastal Development Authority (CODA) has imported mini-cars to replace the motorbikes (Okada) on the roads of the country. According to the Authority, the need for this initiative is to fight the growing accidents on our roads that largely involve motorbikes.

Mr. Michael Kofi Owusu holds that these mini-cars defeat the very essence of the transportation needs that they render to people and that the cars will only compound Ghana’s road traffic challenges.

He explained on Citi FM’s Eye Witness News last Friday that the members of the association had not at any point been approached for any stakeholder engagements prior to the introduction of the initiative.

“The people there (at the launch last Friday), they are all okada riders, none of them is ready to use any car for anything because it is not about the car. It is what we get out from that thing (okada) and how our customers always want us to come to their aid and then be of help.

“From where I stand, nobody had any stakeholder discussion with us, nobody called us to say anything. We only heard that that is what the government is doing. Nobody engaged us in any talk ….” he stressed.

On the subject of the illegality of the okada business, he admitted it was illegal but submitted that with the booming nature of the trade, it was time for the government to consider legalizing and properly regulating the ecosystem.

“No I said we are not going for it,” he responded when asked again if his members will go for the cars.

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The CEO of CODA, Jerry Ahmed Shaib in a sharp reaction refuted the claims by the leader of the Okada Riders Association and said the programme had been oversubscribed on the day of the launch.

“As we speak, it is overly subscribed, he said, disclosing that 70 riders took their cars home after the October 22 launch”.

He stressed the lifesaving priority the cars provide as compared to bikes, stating: “Are you minded to die, or you are minded to live? Are you minded to operate in a more comfortable, safer environment than an environment that can give you death?”

The mini-car costs GH¢25,000 and the buyers are expected to pay up to GHs41 only each day to offset the cost.

The CEO of CODA also said that it is the hope to bring in 200 more into the system every quarter while aiming to make them better.

Godwin Annor, General Manager of Cadmus Investment Limited, the company in charge of bringing these cars into the country, announced that for the first 1,000 kilometers on the car, no beneficiary will be charged for it.

The fuel tanker of the car can also be filled with as little as GH¢60, he added.

He explained that this is all to make sure that the riders are able to make profit for themselves.

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