Dr. Adu Owusu Sarkodie, an economist, has charged the National Democratic Congress to come up with a more substantive plan for the transport sector than simply legalising commercial motor transport.
Speaking on The Big Issue, he said he was against the NDC’s plan to legalise commercial motor transport, also known as okadas.
“If they are saying they are going to legalise it because it has come to stay, that I will not support.”
Dr. Sarkodie also said it was not prudent to compare Ghana to other countries like Nigeria that have mainstream use of okadas.
“I have heard people say we should legalise okada because okada has come to stay and I do not support this argument. Nigeria is not our model. What is the Ghana model in terms of transportation?”
He further said okadas had no place in a modern city.
“For any modern city or capital citiy, I have not seen this; the okada business, going up and down disturbing traffic here and there.”
Going forward, Dr. Sarkodie said the parties need to work towards a transportation plan for the country “especially for the capital cities; Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi.”
He also urged parties to not shy away from making unpopular decisions that were ultimately positive.
“Every reform will benefit some people and hurt some people so the politicians should not be afraid to reform the economy and hurt some people.”
In response, Dr. Michael Kpessa-Whyte, a member of the NDC, defended his party’s promise to legalise okadas and said it was backed by research.
He argued that the NDC deserved more credit for such a promise.
“Some of these things are not done on the basis of anecdotal evidence or purposes of populism. They are oftentimes supported by science.”
He also said the NDC would ensure okadas complemented a modern city with proper regulation.
“It [okadas] may be of a nuisance only to the extent that it has not been put within the legal framework or it has not been provided the policy framework within which to thrive.”