We view as right the recent policy decision by Delta State Government directing all motorcycle (okada), tricycle (Keke) owners and riders in the state to commence the compulsory biometric registration exercise.
Going by media report, the essence of the exercise, according to the Functioning Permanent Secretary (Directorate of Political and Security Services), Mr. Chuks Aguonye, was to checkmate the incidence of criminal activities perpetrated with these vehicles.
He noted that a unique identification number and a digital identity card would be issued to each registered operator, while a radio frequency identification tag, containing the information of each tricycle or motorcycle owner and rider would be pasted on the motorcycle/tricycle to track such vehicle if engaged in any criminal or questionable conduct. The exercise does not exclude private riders because when enforcement starts, there will be no distinction between commercial and private keke/motorcycle operators in Delta State
Essentially, there are in our views, many reasons to celebrate this latest policy decision by the state.
Aside from being laced with the capacity to checkmate the incidence of criminal activities perpetrated through these vehicles, it more than anything else stands as a testament to the fact that Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration is still mindful of the fact that taking protecting lives and property is the first constitutional responsibility of every government.
Also, making the development/decision by the state government interesting/commendable is the awareness that the Keke/motorcycle owners and riders are not expected to pay anything for this exercise. All they have to do is to go to the designated centres across the state, pick their forms, fill and submit for the biometric registration. The forms are domiciled in both their union secretariat and the 25 LGA headquarters.
Therefore, as a media organization that is always ready, willing and eager to support positive policies of the state governments that is directed towards improving the life chances of Deltans, we and all the motorcycle/keke riders and owners need to do the needful by complying with the said directive, particularly as the information from the government’s quarters reveals that the window for the collection of registration forms will elapse in the last week of July 2021, as biometric capture will commence by the first week of August 2021.
In the same vein, we urge the State Government to use the would-be ‘credible database’ to identify keke riders and motorcyclists that are university graduates and have them gainfully employed by the state civil service or better still empowered for more decent businesses where their acquired skills could be best put in use for the betterment of the state and the nation at large.
Separate from the fact we have in the past brought to the consciousness of the State Government the sad reality that most of our youths/graduates in the State take to Okada riding as a result of the inability of the government at both state and federal levels to create employment, this latest suggestion of ours is predicated on the State Government’s claim that the exercise is aimed at generating a credible database of all keke riders and motorcyclists in the State and have hands-on information, with a unique identification number and a digital identity card issued to each registered operator, containing the information of each tricycle or motorcycle owner.