Whiles the opposition National Democratic Congress is canvassing for votes at the back a promise to legalize Okada business, the current New Patriotic Party government through the Ministry of Transport says it is already in the process to see the legalization of the business.
In press a statement dated Friday, September 11, 2020, the ministry says it has completed the first round of consultations into the matter and is set to continue with the second phase in October.
According to the Ministry, the current government between March and November 2019, have held consultations with various organizations, regional administrations and local authorities in parts of the country but had to suspend the exercise due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
With government steadily easing the COVID-19 restrictions, the ministry says it will commence the second phase of the exercise in the 6 newly created regions, as well as consult other key interest groups and civil society organizations, after which a report will be presented before Cabinet for consideration.
Read the Ministry’s full release below
STATEMENT ON OKADA OPERATIONS
The Ministry of Transport has taken notice of public debate on the legality of the Okada business. The Ministry, therefore, wishes to inform the general public on the following:
1. The law which makes Okada operations illegal, the Road Traffic Regulation 2012, L.I.2180, was passed in 2012 by the then NDC administration under former President, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama.
2. The Akufo-Addo Government, upon assumption of office, sought to assess the implementation of the Road Traffic Regulations, and, in the process, needed to consult stakeholders, industry players and interest groups on the provisions in the law.
3. Accordingly, the Ministry, between March and November 2019, held consultations with various organizations, regional administrations and local authorities at the following venues:
i. Greater Accra Region, Accra – Ghana Shippers’ Authority
ii. Volta Region, Ho – RCC Conference Hall
iii. Eastern Region, Koforidua – RCC Conference Hall
iv.Western Region, Takoradi – SSNIT Conference Hall
v. Central Region, Cape Coast – RCC Banquet Hall
vi. Bono Region, Sunyani – University of Ghana Learning Hall
vii. Ashanti Region, Kumasi – GNAT Hall
viii. Upper East, Bolga – RCC Conference Hall
ix. Northern Region, Tamale – Radash Conference Hall
x. Upper West, Wa – Regional Library Conference
The following groups were also part of the consultation exercise:
I. Ghana Institute of Planners
ii. Ghana Automobile Dealers Association
iii. Ghana National Association of Driving Schools
iv. Ghana Association of Driving Instructors
v. National Road Safety Authority
vi. Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority
vii. Motor Traffic and Transport Department.
viii. Okada Riders Association
ix. Ghana Insurers Association
x. Ghana National Fire Service
xi. National Ambulance Service
xii. Ghana Red Cross Society
xiii. National Disaster Management Organization
xiv. Road Safety Advocates
xv. Transport Unions (GPRTU, GRTCC, PROTOA, etc.), and others
In addition, four (4) major hospitals namely Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Tamale Teaching Hospital, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and the Greater Accra Regional Hospital were visited to obtain firsthand information on the toll of Okada related injuries on the administration and operations of the health facilities.
Consultation was also held with the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) in November 2019 at the Ghana Journalist Association Press Centre in Accra.
6. The 2nd phase of the consultations is to engage stakeholders in the six (6) newly created regions of Bono East, Ahafo, Western North, Savannah, North East and Oti Regions. Other key interest groups and civil society organizations would also be consulted. They include the following:
I. Center for Democratic Development (CDD)
ii. Danquah Institute,
iii. Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG)
iv. Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC)
v. Centre for Policy Analysis (CEPA)
vi. Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA)
vii. And Political Parties
7. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the final stage of the stakeholder engagement is expected to commence in October 2020, and a report presented before Cabinet for consideration.