The Coastal Development Authority (CODA) has launched its ‘CODA drive’ initiative. The initiative anticipates roping in commercial motorcycle riders to give up their motorcycles for a vehicle on a hire-purchase basis.
According to the Authority, this forms part of its developments to phase out the commercial motorcycle business popularly referred to as ‘okada’. Several okada riders were present at the launch, which occurred today, Friday, October 22, 2021.
As part of its interventions, CODA seeks to improve the livelihoods of the riders and also create employment by enabling transportation for individuals and small businesses within the coastal development zone.
Speaking in an earlier interview, the Chief Executive Officer of the Coastal Development Authority, Jerry Ahmed Shaibu, revealed that the “target group is largely the Okada riders”, although they are also looking at “commercial drivers”. He also indicated that a group of people including “CODA credit unit members”, market women and men who are engaged in these kinds of transactions can acquire the vehicles.
“That is how we want to support them. We have forms designed and it’s a hire-purchase agreement. We got the cars at GH¢25,000, and it covers insurance [and] tracking system”.Mr Jerry Ahmed Shaibu
CODA modalities for hire-purchase vehicles
Prior to the launch, CODA outlined the modalities for its initiative that is set to provide vehicles to interested drivers.
For non-okada drivers looking to benefit from the initiative, one must be a resident within the Oti, Volta, Greater Accra, Central, Western, and Western North Regions. Also, the applicant must be a member of any farmers, fishers, taxi drivers, ‘Okada’ riders or ‘Aboboyaa’ riders’ association for at least a year to qualify.
Among the modalities outlined is the clause for okada riders to surrender their registered motorbike, have a Ghana Card and possess a valid driver’s license [minimum Class B] to qualify for the intervention.
The price of the vehicle is pegged at GHS25,000.00 and subject to hire purchase arrangement. By this, an individual or small business who is selected to benefit must make an initial payment of 20% of the selling price.
The balance with an interest rate of 2% per annum shall be spread over 24month equal instalments. Based on the hire purchase agreement, the Authority shall have ownership of the vehicle until payment is completed by the buyer/beneficiary.
Okada riders’ association appeal to government
The Okada Riders Association, on the other hand have appealed to government to reconsider its decision to ban the activities of commercial motorcycle riders.
The National Chairman of the Okada Riders Association, Issah Abubakari, speaking in an interview, explained that despite the foreboding risks with the business and concerns of irresponsible riding on the part of some motorcycle users, it offers easy movement in the capital.
According to him, government instead of banning the operations of okada riders should offer instead proper training of the riders.
“We cannot benefit from this car because of the traffic. Okada is two tyres, but this is four tyres and it will be in traffic. If government wants to give you something, you cannot say you don’t like it, but those who want it can come for it. We don’t want the situation where we will take this car and government will ban okada. I don’t have the GH¢25,000 to buy this car. It is too much”.Issah Abubakari