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Mahama promises hire-purchase electric motorbikes for Okada Riders

The flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, has pledged to establish an electric motorbike assembly plant if he wins the 2024 general elections.
He intends to offer the motorbikes on a hire-purchase basis to commercial motorbike operators, known as “Okada” riders.
Addressing motorbike riders in Ashaiman, Mr. Mahama announced, “The good news is that I have spoken with two companies. They are going to open an assembly plant for electric motorbikes.
“These will be given out on hire purchase, work and pay, and you will pay in installments. Such bikes don’t consume petrol; the battery will be charged.”
He explained the convenience of the new system: “When your battery runs out, you can visit an exchange battery center where your battery will be replaced with a new one for a small fee, and then you can continue with your work.”
Mr. Mahama reaffirmed his commitment to legalizing the operations of motorbike riders if elected, recognizing their significant role.
He emphasized, “We want your support in ensuring the law works. You have to discipline your members who go contrary to the law. Your safety will be our top priority, and you must follow road regulations at all times. Your work is very important.”
He also promised that motorbike riders would be required to wear reflective jackets for better visibility and that all riders would be registered to eliminate criminal elements within their ranks.
“Many motorbikers are thieves, so we will register all of you to sniff out the thieves,” he added.
President Mahama assured that future road constructions under the NDC government would include dedicated lanes for motorbike riders. He also expressed concern about the nation’s rising unemployment rate since he left office in 2016.
“The unemployment rate was 8.5% when I left office in 2016; now it’s 14.7% under Akufo-Addo-Bawumia’s government. If you were not engaged in this business, the over 1.7 million people involved in okada would have been unemployed. If your business was abolished, the unemployment rate would have jumped higher to 25%.”
He cited the successful legalization and regulation of similar operations in East Africa as a model for Ghana.
“In East Africa, they have legalized it and they are working nicely. We can also legalize it and regulate it for safety and security. When we assume power, we will legalize it. The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) will go to the regions to train you on how to ride safely,” he assured.
Mr. Mahama encouraged motorbike riders to adhere to the forthcoming regulations under the NDC administration.
“I’m pleading with you, when we legalize it, you have to follow the rules, and the passenger’s safety is also paramount. We will also assist those who don’t have a license to get one.”

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