Journalism of Courage

FG’s motorcycle ban will throw 40m Nigerians out of jobs — ACOMORAN

.... also worsen socio-economic and security situation in the country


The ban of commercial motorcycles nationwide being contemplated by the Federal Government will throw out at least 40 million Nigerians into the unemployment market and worsen the security situation in the country, an association has warned.

Sounding the note of caution is the Amalgamated Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners, Repairs and Riders Association of Nigeria (ACOMORAN).

The National President of ACOMORAN, Mr Samsudeen Apelogun, told a news conference on Monday in Abuja that to date their membership stands at 12 million nationwide out of which about 6 million are registered.

Urging the government to quit the idea of banning motorcycles nationwide, he said it would be counter-productive on the long-run.

Persecondnews recalls that Malam Abubakar Malami, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation had last week after a meeting of the National Security Council chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari said government is considering banning the use of motorcycles as transportation and mining activities.

He said they are being used by bandits for their nefarious activities and for financing terrorism.

According to Malami, about 20 percent of the country’s over 200 million people use motorcycles for commercial purposes and that if that percentage is made to sacrifice, it will not be too much.

But the ACOMORAN boss warned that apart from the socio-economic and security implications of such a ban, it would further impoverish millions of Nigerians.

“The country lacks effective security architecture, and should overhaul their intelligence gathering mechanism, instead of creating another monster that will ultimately add salt to the injury.

“Commuters see motorcycles as a relief to their transportation problems while motorcycle riders see their adventure as a source of livelihood.

“Without doubt, the use of motorcycles has enhanced mobility for the middle and income earners which by extension has contributed to an increase in production through an increase in man hours.

“Let me put it on record that from experience, 95 percent of those you see riding motorcycles are doing it because they don’t have better options but they don’t want to take to crime.

“If 10 million of these 40 million people they plan to render jobless take to crime, can the government contain them? If you attribute the movement of terrorists to motorcycles, don’t criminals operate with vehicles?

“When terrorists regrettably attacked Kuje prison, was it the motorcycle riders that caused the failure of intelligence gathering?

“If they rode motorcycles there, how were they able to beat all the security checkpoints to get to such a fortified facility?

“Was it motorcycles that made it possible for the terrorists to overpower the security agents attached to the facility? Are motorcycles also responsible for the late re-enforcement?” Apelogun said.

Apelogun said with few months to the end of Buhari administration, it should rather concentrate on how to alleviate the agonies of the people.

He suggested:“First, the government should revive the economy for businesses to thrive. Today, the naira exchanges at N630 to a US Dollar, and this deal a terrible blow to businesses.

“The epileptic nature of our power supply has grounded many small-scale industries thereby making it difficult for artisans to operate. If a solution is found to power supply today, I am very confident that many of the youths who are involved in criminality will be gain-fully employed or engaged.

“In summary, the government should provide a stable power supply, organize the Bank of Transportation to cater to the transportation sector, revive our economy, make naira exchange rate against the dollar and other foreign currencies reasonable provide infrastructure.

“It should also create an enabling environment for businesses and investors to thrive as well as give security agencies equipment and motivation for law and order.”

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