Friday, 9 March 2012
Okada Air was a local Nigerian airline that was not popular for its comfort, but remained the most used local airline in the country. Today the name is used as a nickname for the motorcycle transporters, because they can maneuver between the heavy traffic of Lagos and take you to your destination in time, just as Okada Airline did.
Okada began to gain popularity in the late 80s when, because of Nigerian economic difficulties, some jobless youths began to use this age-old transport system for commercial purposes, to transport some stranded but willing passengers through the narrow or bad roads to the far inaccessible parts of the cities or villages. Most of these youths, often under 18, have little or no training. They usually cannot read or do not pay attention to traffic signs.
Okadas are hired by businessmen, government workers, students and many others to overcome traffic congestion and arrive in time to their destinations in a megacity like Lagos, where daily traffic jams can last for hours.