Monday, 12 November 2012

Traffic Law: Motorcycle dealers complain of low patronage

Dealers in motorcycle spare parts in Lagos State have complained of low patronage, following the implementation of the new Traffic Law in the state.
Some of the dealers told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the restriction on the operation of commercial motorcyclists had affected their turnover.
The Traffic law, enacted on August 2, prohibits the operations of commercial motorcyclists on 475 highways and bridges  across the metropolis.
Governor Babatunde Fashola had said, while signing the law, that the restriction was to tackle growing cases of motorcycle related accidents.
One of the dealers in Agege, Mr Emeka Chibuzor, said that business was at its lowest ebb at the moment.
``Before the law was enacted, I used to sell between six and seven motorcycles in a week and on a good day when business is extremely good, I can sell up to 10.
``But nobody is buying anymore.
``Why would anybody buy when he cannot freely operate on all roads? I rely on miracles to sell these days. Business is really bad,’’ Chibuzor complained.
Another dealer at Ipaja road, who identified himself as Anthony, said that his turnover had gone down by more than 25 per cent.

According to him, the law had forced many `okada’ operators out of business.
He complained that the mass exodus of people from the okada operation has had serious impact on the sales of motorcycle spare parts.
``I am thinking of relocating to Ogun State or any other neighbouring state where they still operate.
``Business, for me, is over here in Lagos,’’ he said.
Tunde Akanbi, a motorcycle mechanic at Iyana Ipaja, said that he had been rendered idle as many of his customers have had their motorcycles impounded by the law enforcement agents.
Akanbi said that the lull in patronage might force him to return to his former trade of tailoring.
But for Rex Imeh, a motorcycle dealer in Oshodi, the new law has brought to him, a new business opportunity.
``Nothing is constant in life. The government has said it does not want something.
``The government gave reasons for its action and I think people should show some understanding.
``The law, for me, is another business opportunity. At present, I am  in talks with a businessman on how to get 200cc capacity bikes into the country from China.
“This type of motorcycle (200cc) is the recommended bike by the law for courier dispatch riders to ply highways and bridges.
``We do not have enough of these bikes in the country right now. This is a business opportunity,’’ he said.

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