The motorcycle trading business known as “Okada”, which started as a part-time engagement, is now seen as a worthy business by the operators. With a motorcyclist delivering between N2,000 and N4,000 per day, the Okada business generates at least a tangible sum of money per day. ADEOLA TUKURU reports.
Reports indicate that the motorcycle business activity contributes to the economy of those engaged in the sector and, by extension, to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.
The use of motorcycles for commercial purposes had been on in some parts of the country as a popular means of commercial transportation across the country was in response to hard times.
This means that economic growth cannot sustain the booming population growth rate. Furthermore, Nigeria produces around 1.5 million graduates of tertiary institutions every year without any plans to engage them profitably after school.
Many of them, after trying to find a job for a number of years, are frustrated and ready to accept any job, including on Okada, just to keep the body and mind together.
For Rasheed Oyekanmi, a college graduate had high expectations after graduating from college, but after years of searching for a job, his hope for a better life was dashed, he became disillusioned but rather than engaging in crime, he resorted to Okada as a source of income.
According to him, after five years of looking for a job, “I decided to accept Okada’s job. It is with her that I feed myself, wife and son. So if a better job comes along, it’s welcome and if not, I’m happy with it.
Many people; young and old, educated and illiterate are easily attracted to the Okada business because of the ease with which money is earned.
According to the Chairman of ACOMORAN, River Park Branch, Abuja, Muhammad Bello, many people join the association because Okada constituency is a business that earns operators money quickly to meet their immediate needs.
He said a runner from Okada earns between 13,000 and 15,000 naira every week which has greatly helped in paying school fees for his children, sponsoring their siblings and getting into farming .
Another branch president of the Federal Capital Territory, Maniru Lawal, who has sworn never to leave work for another company, with determination, an Okada runner can earn around 100,000 naira in a month.
According to him, “I spent about 16 years in this Abuja and Okada was my source of income. It is a business from which I can get up to 100,000 naira in a month. If I borrow money from someone, I can assure him that within a month I will pay it back.
The advent of okada
The advent of the okada in the national transport system began in the early eighties, their operation has grown enormously to reach a force that could be relied on.
The names generally reflected what motorcycle transport stands for. In the Cross River/Akwa-Ibom axis, it was nicknamed “akauke” sense “are you going .” In Ibo land, he was nicknamed “Ina-aga,” sense, “Are you going.”
These names clearly illustrate that once the traveler was ready, the motorcycles were also ready to transport passengers to their destinations in no time. In Yoruba land it was called “tatakpukpu», an onomatopoeia representing the sound of the motorcycle.
For the natives of Edo State, Okada Air was the fastest way to travel from Benin to Lagos, just as a motorbike was the fastest way to travel between two points.
It is for this simple reason that the Edos dubbed the mode of transport motorcycle okada. Of all the nicknames mentioned above, only okada seems to have survived and become generally accepted in Nigeria as the official nickname for commercial motorcycle operation.
One of the characteristics of life in urban centers is the endemic traffic jam in which residents lose productive work hours and business appointments daily.
To facilitate quick travel and through ravines and potholes on city roads, many locals ride Okada without worrying about the drain it causes in their purses.
Environmental factors have also contributed to the growing interest of Nigerians in Okada’s business. The reduced size of Lake Chad and the prolonged dry season have made herding and farming in the northern part of Nigeria less lucrative than before. Therefore, many young people from the North migrate to the South to become Okada riders.
Acquiring a motorcycle for commercial purposes is a bit easy for those who are determined and ready to take risks. Usually, there are dealers who are willing to lease the bikes out to riders who pay weekly or monthly installments.
The checks revealed that most of those who get the motorbikes on hire-purchase usually pay it back within 18 months.
Many politicians who embark on anti-poverty programs often give motorcycles to the beneficiaries of their gesture. Such gestures have helped many people to become Okada pilots.
However, despite being a way for unemployed young Nigerians to earn a living, Okada constituency is not without its downsides.
High accident rate
According to Micah and Owagbemi, commercial motorcycles have a higher rate of disabling and fatal accidents per unit of distance than cars and buses. They add: “A 1998 study at Obafemi Awolowo Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, Nigeria showed that limb injuries occurred in 79.3% of patients presenting to the emergency department of the hospital. ‘hospital. These patients were linked to commercial motorcycle accidents.
Reduction of the stock of craftsmen
With many artisans abandoning their craft to seek easy money in Okada Ward, a critical sector of the economy is at risk. A number of companies are struggling to employ artisans who are essential to their production. Not only does this hinder business progress, but it also affects the growth of the economy.
Checks further revealed that craftsmen such as tilers and masons are brought into the country from neighboring countries. The implication of this is that while Nigerians complain about unemployment, those who are available are given to foreign nationals.
Insecurity has worsened with the increase in the use of motorcycles for commercial purposes. When the insurgency broke out in the north, motorcycles were used by the insurgents to carry out their attacks. A number of state governments have banned the use of Okada in city centers due to the threat they pose to life safety. In many areas of the country, Okada riders are not allowed as they are seen as a means by which vices are perpetrated.
What you need to know before getting into the motorcycle business
1. You must check the strength and quality of the motorcycle you want to buy because it is not all the motorcycle you can use for the business, the quality of the motorcycle determines to a large extent how much you will earn in the home.
2. What is the fuel consumption rate: the fuel consumption rate of the motorcycle should also be considered,
3. State Policy: Maybe check to see if the state you live in allows motorcycle trading. You will agree with me that not all states in Nigeria allow motorcycle trading, for example Lagos State.
4. Verification of integrity: you must ensure that the person you give it to to help you drive must be a trustworthy person, that is, if you do not want to be, you don’t want to ride it yourself that’s very important because most people who collect people’s motorcycle at the end of the day use it however they see fit so as someone who gets into this business, you have to be very careful in this regard.