Okada Business Silently Undermining Nigerian Economy - Prof. Oladipo warns - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Okada Business Silently Undermining Nigerian Economy - Prof. Oladipo warns


• Olubomehin

Professor Oladipo Olubomehin has advised the state and federal governments to look beyond the immediate benefits of the Okada transport system in the country and pay closer attention to its destructive onslaught on the economy and society.

Oladipo, though, admitted that Okada business is giving millions of jobs to the nation's unemployed youths, retirees and others relieved of their jobs prematurely, but declared that it is also "silently destroying the Nigerian economy and society" through  steady and progressive wiping away artisanship and craftmanship.

The Professor of Economic history who made this known on Tuesday while delivering the 90th inaugural lecture of the Olabisi Onabanjo university (OOU), Ago - Iwoye, added that Okada business is a service oriented and not manufacturing, succeeding only in turning the nation's economy into a veritable market for the Asian firms that manufacture motorcycles.

Delivering his lecture titled: "My Odyssey Into Nigerian Economic History: Road Transportation, Port and Market Development," he identified motor cycle related accidents occurring frequently  across the country  as its greatest danger to the economy.

Citing the Federal Road Safety Corps report, Oladipo recalled that 10,471 motor cycle accidents were recorded in Lagos within a period of 10 years as at 2011 while 70 percent of banditry committed were carried out by people operating with motor cycles.

He noted that the collapse of intra - city transport system in Nigeria opened the way for the surge of Okada as means of transport, saying while not advocating for its ban, the should regulate and limit their operation to certain areas.

Oladipo  also advised the government to develop the roads and ports to facilitate the growth of land and water transport system in order to create new markets and expand the existing ones for the overall development and progress of Nigeria.

He identified tourism as one non - oil sector where Nigeria could reap steady immense socioeconomic benefits  if there are efficient transport system, safe  and accessible roads to avalanche of tourist sites across the country.

He said: "Evidence from field work shows that it is now generally difficult for artisans to find people who are willing to learn their trade. From bricklayers and plumbers  to mechanics and carpenters, the story is the same.

"Young people are no longer ready to endure the patience of learning under any master. They prefer to work as Okada riders where they can make between N3,500 and N4,000 a day.

" If the trend continues, a time may come that some of these trades such as plumbing, carpentry, painting etc. may die due to the difficulty of getting successors for the present crop of people in that trade. This is a negative impact indeed on the Nigerian economy and society.

"The point must (also) be made that the Okada business is silently and indirectly destroying the Nigerian economy. Okada business is a service industry not a manufacturing or production sector of the economy. Though its contribution to the economy is important, it must be realised that only manufacturing and production can make the economy grow and develop."

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