Jerry Ahmed Shaibu, CEO of CODA, about to test drive one of the cars
GOVERNMENT has unveiled a total of 200 Bajaj Quote cars for commercial motorbike riders, popularly known as ‘Okada’, as part of efforts to improve their living conditions whilst reducing the menace of the increased rate of motorbike-related accidents in the country.
According to reports, Okada-related accidents account for the highest number of fatalities in health centres across the country, and the issue of Okada became a burning campaign issue in the recent general election.
The NPP administration ahead of the 2020 general election, and at various public engagements with Okada riders, introduced the Okada for Taxi idea where commercial bike owners would be provided with small vehicles at affordable rates with flexible payment terms to replace the dangerous bike business and enable them to make meaningful living.
On Friday, the government at a ceremony at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) head office officially unveiled the vehicles and began processes of distributing the car to interested Okada riders.
The project, dubbed: ‘Okada4CODA’ is being spearheaded through the Coastal Development Authority (CODA).
Okada Riders Association
Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Motor Riders Association of Ghana, Randolph Osei Buabeng in an address lauded the initiative, describing it as a “strategic proposal” by government to lease cars to motor riders with flexible payment systems.
He admitted that, “motor commercial transport business is extremely risky and poses serious threats to the life of the riders and passengers,” adding that “we are of the firm conviction that this initiative is a human-centered policy which will provide sustainable jobs for Okada riders, reduce the stress of hustling and bustling of Okada riders through competition for passengers and promote the social visibility of the riders.”
“We are satisfied with the initiative and all the provisions in the agreement,” he stated.
Communications Officer of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Ibrahim Moro Abass, appealed to the Okada riders to be extra careful with the way they use the new cars and be mindful of road regulations while ensuring proper maintenance culture of the cars so they serve them for long.
Delivering the keynote address, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CODA, Jerry Ahmed Shaibu said the project provides a platform for Okada riders to migrate from the use of motorbikes for commercial purposes to vehicles which are safer and more durable.
“What we came to do is to support you so that you can have the opportunity to live a decent lifestyle. We need you to ply your trade in a decent manner,” he added.
He said CODA is also putting in place training regimes to equip drivers with the requisite skills that will aid them in their jobs.
He said the vehicles have road worthy certificates, unique branding and tracking systems installed on them.
The full fuel tank costs less than GH¢60, which according to him, is more economical than their usual motorbikes; and this he added, allows them to cover more distance using little fuel whilst making more money.
Parts of the vehicles are available while service centres are set up at vantage points in the country. Users will also enjoy free maintenance after the first 1,000km.
Cost & Payment Systems
Mr. Shaibu announced that the vehicles cost GH¢25,000 each and users can choose to pay GH¢41 per day out of 20 working days in a month; or GH¢833 per month within a period of two years after which the cars become theirs.
He indicated that the vehicles are being given out at no profit, and the aim is to improve the living standards of Ghanaians, adding that the distribution will be done in a strictly non-partisan manner.
BY Nii Adjei Mensahfio