LAGOS (Reuters) – Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, said on Wednesday it would ban motorbike taxis from operating in much of the traffic-crammed city, cutting off a popular mode of transport for residents.

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the ban, the second in just over two years, would come into effect from June, adding that motorbikes that provide taxi services, known locally as “Okadas”, were unsure.

It was not immediately clear whether the ban, which does not include delivery motorcycles, would include start-ups such as Oride, Gokada and, which have sought to capitalize on the city’s teeming population. a little over 20 million people. to develop their activities.

The companies could not immediately be reached for comment.

Traffic jams are part of everyday life in Lagos, where many locals use motorbikes to navigate traffic but disregard traffic and safety rules.

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“Lives are being lost daily, preventable accidents are happening every day and drivers are disobeying any of our traffic rules,” Sanwo-Olu said.

“The situation has led to a complete breakdown of law and order. This ban has come to stay and we will not tolerate any weakness in enforcement,” a press briefing said.

A similar restriction imposed in February 2020 failed due to lack of enforcement.

Motorcycle taxis will be banned from 40 bridges and flyovers and areas covering the business districts of Victoria Island and Lagos Island, Apapa, where the main port is located and Ikeja, home to the international airport.

“How am I supposed to survive when there are no jobs? We’ll see if it’s different (from last time),” Okada driver Victor Abara said as the tire of his motorcycle was repaired in a roadside garage on Victoria Island.

(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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