Mahama believes the Okada business has become a means of sustenance for young people who are unemployed adding that it has created more jobs for the youth than the Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo) and the Youth Employment Agency (YEA).
According to him, his government's priority is to legalise the okada business but regulate it to avoid unnecessary loss of lives adding that "This is a service that has come to stay."
In an interview on TV XYZ, he said "Whether you legalise it or not, you cannot stop it and, so, why to behave like the ostrich and bury your head in the sand.
"These okadas have created more jobs in this economy than any government job-related policy.
"It has created more jobs than NABCo, it has created more jobs than YEA and all those artificial job creation programmes."
Okada, he said will be useful than even NABCO, why because these people can create jobs within their locality.
But Nana Addo said the promise by the former President is populist.
He said the social intervention programmes the NPP implemented such as Planting for Food and Jobs, One District One Factory, NABCO, among others have created over two million jobs.
At a meeting with the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference at the Jubilee House on Friday, August 4, 2020, Nana Addo said "A law was made during the Mills/Mahama era [which banned okada operations in Ghana]. Today he [Mahama] has changed his mind. He said he is going to legalise it. How can that provide more jobs than NABCO and Planting for foods and jobs? We have provided over two million jobs with these social intervention initiatives. So how can you say that okada will provide more jobs? It’s just populist. It's another sign of inconsistency– when you are in power you say one thing and when you are out of power you say something else. It doesn't help in creating better public discourse."
Law on Okada operations
On the use of motorbikes for commercial purposes, Section 128 (1) of the Road Traffic Regulations, 2012 (Legislative Instrument 2180), states: "The licensing authority shall not register a motorcycle to carry a fare-paying passenger."
There has been an increase in Okada operations in the country, particularly in the Greater Accra Region, following failure by the police to enforce the law.
In 2019 the government was reviewing the Road Traffic Regulation, 2012 because its non-enforcement had increased Okada operations in the country.