Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, Governor of Anambra State, has banned tricycle and shuttle bus unions in the state. The governor also sacked touts operating in motor parks in the state.
In a press release made available to newsmen on Thursday in Awka, the capital of Anambra State, Solido made this claim. The press release was written by the state’s commissioner for information, Mr. Paul Nwosu.
Tricycle and bus operators in Awka protested in large numbers on Thursday and Friday of last week. They were upset about the N15,000 and N20,000 monthly tax the government had imposed on them.
But the state government in its reaction to the protest said the union and touts masquerading as revenue agents were misleading and overtaxing the operators.
Part of the release read: “In order to forestall breakdown of law and order, the state government hereby suspends all tricycle and shuttle bus unions in the state with immediate effect for six months.
“This is pending further investigations and possible harmonization of the unions which shall have a leadership known to, and recognized by, the State Government.
“This is as a follow-up to the government’s recent consultation with the direct representatives of tricycle and shuttle bus operators.
“Government has considered their plea and decided to offer them a convenient payment option and other fringe benefits that could add value to their well-being.”
The state government continued, “Tricycle operators now have the option of paying N4,000 weekly or N15,000 monthly. However, tricycle operators in the 8 Local Government Areas that are affected by the curfew will pay N3,000 weekly or N12,000 monthly.
“They will revert to the normal rates of N4,000 weekly or N15,000 monthly as soon as the curfew is lifted. Shuttle bus operators will pay N5,000 weekly or N20,000 monthly.”
Considering operators around the university environment and the current ASUU strike, the government said NANS shuttle buses in the area will pay N2,500 weekly or N10,000 monthly.
“This group will also revert to the normal rates of N5,000 weekly or N20,000 monthly as soon as the strike is called off. Taxis will pay N4,375 weekly or N17,500 monthly.
“Township bus will pay N5,000 weekly or N20,000 monthly. Mini truck and Pickups will pay N5,000 weekly or N20,000 monthly respectively. Intra-state will pay N6,250 weekly or N25,000 monthly.
“Loading and offloading in government (public) parks will now be free. Moving forward, every compliant commercial vehicle driver will get a free Health Insurance cover that would enable the insured have access to basic health and emergency services in any Anambra State hospital.
“Government wishes to reiterate its ban on touts (agbero) and cult groups that are used to enforce illegal collection of tolls and taxes.
“Only government accredited agents are entitled to collect tolls. Alternatively, the commercial vehicle operator could go and pay at any of the banks or any Anambra State Internal Revenue Service (AIRS) pay-point nearest to him,” the release read.