Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, RTEAN, in Anambra State said it would begin a health insurance scheme for commercial motorcyclists, popularly called “Okada’’ in the state in September.
Chairman of the association, Mr. Celestine Anere, gave the hint to newsmen yesterday in Awka.
He said that the insurance scheme, one of its welfare packages for members, was aimed at enabling beneficiaries’ access medical services from some selected hospitals in the state.
Anere further stated that the need to control high blood pressures and other job hazards suffered by the commercial cyclists had necessitated the setting up of the scheme.
According to the chairman, “The pilot scheme would commence in September in Awka South Local Government Area of the state, and would be extended to Onitsha, Nnewi, Ihiala, Ekwulobia and Umunze reas.
“The beneficiaries were drawn from people who registered and hold the union’s identity cards to operate in the state.”
However, Anere noted that the association would coordinate and ensure that interested registered cyclists participate in the insurance scheme.
He said that each cyclist was expected to contribute N400 monthly to the scheme for himself, adding that married members would pay N800 each to include their wives.
“The children of beneficiaries under five years would access the medical services free, while those above five years would be considered through a tripartite negotiation.” he said.
On the recent ban of cyclist from some designated routes by the state government, he urged them to obey the directive, particularly those who were plying the highways.
He, however, appealed to the state government to consider the ban on the operators on the Zik Avenue in Awka because of its link to most major routes in the area.
“We know that government has the right to determine which routes the motorcycle riders should operate, but they should reconsider the ban of the Zik Avenue, Awka,’’ Anere pleaded.

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