Commercial motorcycle riders “Okada” operation at the Aso area of Karu Local Government in Nasarawa state are lamenting over the poverty brought to them by the outbreak of coronavirus.
The Okada riders, who spoke to the Media Advocacy West Africa Foundation (MAWA Foundation) at the Okada Park in front of the Aso market, narrated how coronavirus pushed them into deep poverty while they struggle to feed their family.
Mr. John Peters, an Okada operator told MAWA that before the coronavirus outbreak he makes N1, 000 daily but since the coronavirus outbreak, he struggles to make N500 daily.
Peters said he has eight children and finds it difficult to feed them because his Okada business has gone bad since the coronavirus pandemic.
He, however, pointed out that the Okada business has gone bad because there are no passengers.
He added that many of his colleagues who got bikes through hire purchase are finding it very difficult to meet up while others are at the risk of losing their bikes to the owner.
He told MAWA that those who collected hire purchase pay the sum of N10, 000 every month to the owner of the bike but said they cannot afford to pay such a bill at the moment because coronavirus has destroyed all business.
Mr. Joseph, another Okada rider, corroborating Peter’s claim said Okada people are suffering because they are the most hit by during this coronavirus pandemic.
“We rely on passengers to make money, but since the outbreak of coronavirus, many people do not want to leave their houses and go anywhere, leading to scarcity of passengers and that is hitting out business real bad, Joseph said.
“There is no Okada man in Aso that is finding it easy, all of us are suffering since the outbreak of coronavirus” he added.
Some days, after settling owner of the Bike I operate, I am left with N20, how do I feed my family under this economic hardship.
This report is supported by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa OSIWA