Many residents of Minna have begun to acquire bicycles for transportation following the ban on the operations of commercial motorcyclists, called okada, by the Niger Government. Many people within the city now ride bicycles to schools or work.
The state government banned the operations of commercial motorcycles early in the year to check the rising wave of crime in the state.
In some markets, where bicycles are sold in Minna, the prices of the product have risen with fairly used ones costing more because of customers’ preference for them.
A bicycle seller, Farouk Umar, said that the prices ranged from N13, 000 to N20, 000. “A big bicycle now sells for between N18, 000 and N20, 000 but before now, it was selling for N16, 000. The average size one which was selling for N13, 000 now goes for N15, 000,’’ he said.
Malam Yerima Musa, a bicycle rider, also said that the ban made it necessary for him to acquire a bicycle to enable him to move around easily.
“I had to buy a bicycle to ease my movement around town because the Keke Napep (tricycle) operators introduced to replace “okada” have designated routes.
“So, I bought this bicycle to be able to access any part of town at any time of the day, because even if you are a private motorcycle owner, you cannot use it beyond a certain time of the day,” he said
Also, Saleh Ibrahim, a bicycle owner, said he had resorted to riding bicycles because of the hike in transportation fares, particularly with the recent scarcity of petrol.
“I have decided to get my bicycle to cope with the high transport fare., so, I got this bicycle to make life easier for myself,” he said.