The Oyo State Government has disclosed its readiness to introduce an identification system for commercial motorcyclists operating within the state in order to check crimes and the influx of bad elements into the state.
This was as the state governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, ordered the immediate reduction of the daily levy to be paid by commercial cyclists from N200 to N100 per day.
The State’s Commissioner for Public Works, Infrastructure and Transport, Prof Raphael Afonja, who made the disclosure while addressing newsmen in Ibadan on Thursday, added that Governor Makinde does not want to add to the burden of the people of the state.
The Commissioner stated that in order to control crimes being associated with motorcyclists and the influx of commercial motorcyclists into Oyo State, the government will, in due course, issue Riders’ Card to all registered commercial motorcyclists in the state.
He noted that this will enable the government to differentiate registered commercial motorcyclists from criminal elements, who are using motorcycles to operate.
He said: “We have concluded that, due to what happened in Lagos State, which has led to an influx of people moving from Lagos into Oyo State, there is a need to have Okada Riders’ Card to identify people coming into the state.
“So, in collaboration with the revenue collector for the state and FRSC and the unions, we will start this to gather information on those who are engaging in commercial or private cycling businesses in the state. This is possible through profiling. The security agencies are in need of these pieces of information.”
Afonja explained that the Riders’ Cards would afford the government the opportunity to have a database of the riders across the state, saying: “So, this registration of motorcyclists through the Riders’ Cards will be a database for us to know who is who; who owns what; who they are, where they live and the rest. We will also add their BVN to know who they really are.
“Recently, you may have heard about snatching of bikes and robberies using motorcycles. That is why we are trying to make sure that all motorcycles in Oyo State are properly registered. We will ensure they do what is needful to make sure they obey the law.
The commissioner added that Governor Makinde ordered the immediate reduction of the daily levy charge on commercial motorcyclists and tricyclists in the state from N200 to N100 to ameliorate the suffering of the riders.
He said: “This press conference is being held in response to the recent pronouncement by the Ministry of Finance and the Oyo State Board of Internal Revenue regarding the state revenue that we have been collecting from tricycles and motorcycle riders in the state.
“From the information that was passed down to us by the Ministry of Finance and BIR, we were told that it was agreed upon that the consultant was to collect 200 Naira as a daily collection from these commercial bikers including tricycles and motorcycles.
“Upon escalating this issue to the governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, we found out he was not in support of this increase in the revenue collection from N100 to N200. So, I want to apologise to the unions and other stakeholders who are affected by the increment.
“The governor has instructed me to pass this information on that his goal is to ensure that people’s money remain in their pockets to take care of their families. So, he has gracefully reduced this fee from N200 to N100.
“He also believes that this change will trickle down to the people who are in the markets and will help people and their families.
“In addition to that, we have met with those in the quarries to include the union people. They are excited, understanding that the fact that the governor has listening ears. The governor met with them physically. He understands their cry and he has assured them.