Okada riders are not extorted – MOALS
By Damilola Kushimo
Against the outcry by the commercial motorcyclists popularly known as Okada Riders in Isolo Local Council Development Area (LCDA) that they are being extorted on daily basis by the so called Agbero, perceived to be on errand for the Motorcycle Owner Associations of Lagos State (MOALS), a subsidiary of the National Union of Roads Transport Workers (NURTW) and the local government, the association (MOALS) has debunked the claim, stating that the money collected from them are legal.
The Okada riders have complained that even to ECHONEWS that the rate at which they are being extorted is high and that it has been affecting their jobs as they struggle to get little as take homes after paying huge amount to the Agberos.
According to some of them who spoke to our correspondent at their different parks in Isolo, the least amount they pay in a day is N1,500.
“Agbero are really extorting us in Isolo, on a daily basis we pay nothing less than N1,500 which covers several charges, the Union ticket is N500, booking ticket is N100, local government levy for Isolo and Ejigbo is N100 each, we pay policemen at Pako junction N200 at least two times a day. Even here in our parking we pay N100 for security.
The money is just too much and in a day we rarely make N5,000 out of which we pay deliver to the owners before we realize our own take home. If the governments have the interest of the Okada riders at heart they should look into all these because even the local governments are involved. Even with our documents intact, we are always victims of embarrassment if we fail to oblige to this extortion. Government should come to our rescue and put in a stringent order to reduce and regulate the levies Okada riders pay. It’s like we are merely working for the agberos,” they lamented.
However, MOALS Secretary, Isolo Branch A, Comrade Adeleke Isiaka who debunked the allegation of extortion explained that the money collected from them is authorised, adding that it is for their advantage as they enjoy great benefit from the money.
He said: “Here in Isolo, we don’t extort Okada riders in any form. The ticket we sell to them is from the National Union of Roads Transport Workers (NURTW) and MOALS is a registered franchise. We sell the ticket at a fixed rate of N500 as it’s being sold anywhere. In fact, the benefits Okada riders here in Isolo Branch A enjoy I doubt if other branch can afford it with the meager amount we collect for ticket. If any Okada rider sustains an accident we take him to the hospital where he’ll be treated for free. If police confiscates any Okada we ensure the person gets the Okada back, these and many other benefits are what Okada riders here in Isolo enjoy from the money they pay for ticket.
“Also, we sustain the association with this money. Those who pay extra charges to police are those who are not law abiding. If you investigate very well, you’ll realise that they are the ones who don’t have number plate or carry fake number plate.
“They are the ones who park carelessly and the money police collect from them is to wave their punishable offences. The other fee is for local government. I’ll only advise the Okada riders to be law abiding and perfect all that is required of them, MOALS Isolo Branch A has their interest at heart and we’ll never extort them.”