The Ministry of Transport and its stakeholders are meeting in Koforidua in the Eastern regional capital to review its performance, diagnose pressing challenges facing the sector and find sustainable solutions to help improve safety and efficiency in the transport sector.
The Conference is on the theme: “Sustainability of the Transport Sector Exploring Innovative Solutions.”
According to the Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, one of the key issues the Conference will decide on is the Okada transport business which is increasing carnage on the road.
He explained that, current statistics from Road Safety Commission indicate that about six (6) persons are killed daily through road accidents with motorcycle accidents rising in an alarming rate.
Provisional statistics on road accidents indicate that 1,059 persons have so far perished between January to June this year, an increase from 933 recorded in 2017.
However, the number of persons injured reduced from 5,997 same period in 2017 to 5, 812 in 2018
According to the Minister, the proportion of motorcycle fatalities have increased from 2.7% in 2001 to 21% in 2016.
He said, the National Road Safety Commission estimates that the chance of dying from a motorcycle crash is 10 times higher than a car crash but Okada transport ironically has become a booming business in most parts of the country despite being illegal hence a lasting solution is required.
But some Okada riders in the Eastern region believe any attempt to ban Okada will affect their livelihood.
They alleged that some drivers deliberately knock the Okada riders out of hatred hence the increase in accidents adding that some health facilities are reluctant to attend to them whenever they are involved in an accident.
The Member of Parliament for Ayensuano constituency and Chairman of Roads and Transport Committee in Parliament, Ayeh Paye said the Okada transport business is booming because of ineffectiveness of the transport system in Ghana therefore until proper road infrastructure and transport services are provided, the Okada business must be legalized and regulated.
But according to the Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, the Ministry is considering other alternatives to revamp Bus Rapid Transit System and also introduce other transport systems such us including Podway, Cable Car, and shuttle passenger services by sea (e.g. Tema-Accra, Accra-Takoradi along the coast) to boost the transport system in the country.
The Cable and Podway systems depend on the use of cables or beams instead of the road space. – Kojo Ansah