Famous fashion entrepreneur and brother to top notch Nigerian comedian, Yomi Casual enters Keke Napep for his first time in Warri. The young man who was in Warri for his parents’ 10th-year remembrance takes to his Instagram page to share a photo of him with the caption “First Time in Keke.”
While controversies continue to rage, let us take a look at the history of this popular commercial motorcycle.
History of Keke
The history of Keke as a mode of commercial transportation in Nigeria is directly traced to the government of Mohammed Buba Marwa, who was the military Governor of Lagos State from 1996 to 1999. He actively launched the usage of the tricycle as a means of commercial transportation in Lagos.
This led to the name Keke Marwa, which commercial tricycle is still referred to in Lagos till date. Equally, the word Keke is a Yoruba word meaning “bicycle”.
However, the reputation of Keke across the nation can be accredited to National Poverty Eradication Programme NAPEP, which was inaugurated under the supervision of President Olusegun Obasanjo to alleviate poverty and provide economic empowerment to the people.
Hence, Keke NAPEP gained its popularity across Nigeria. NAPEP in 2001 launched and distributed two thousand units of green coloured tricycles with the inscription Keke NAPEP as a commercial means of transportation in the Federal Capital Territory FCT Abuja. They were awarded N2.4 billion contract for the feat of supplying 5,000 tricycles (Keke NAPEP) and also for spare parts in 2003. This was to act as a strategy to reform area boys from idlers to a productive work force.
NAPEP is not the only source of Keke in Nigeria. After the distribution of Keke NAPEP to several parts of the country, businessmen and other individuals in Nigeria began to import, buy, sell and operate Keke as a means of intra-city commercial transportation in several cities in Nigeria. Keke is imported from India, in particular, the yellow colour brand from Bajaj Group.