Some commercial Keke NAPEP and shuttle bus drivers, on Wednesday, blocked Aroma Junction, Awka along the Awka – Onitsha Expressway to protest the Anambra State government’s new levy.
The transporters blocked the ever busy Aroma Junction saying that the new tax regime was not acceptable to them. While the Keke riders said that they were asked to pay about 15,000 monthly, shuttle buses were to pay N25,000.
For about an hour, vehicular movements were grounded along the expressway, forcing other road users, especially vehicles from the adjoining roads to make detours to our routes. The protesters were, however, later dispersed by the police.
But the Chairman of the Anambra State Internal Revenue Service (AIRS), Mr Richard Madiebo, said that the transporters’ allegation was not a true representation of the outcome of their meeting today.
Madiebo explained that there had been some engagements with the leaders of the various transport unions that lasted for about three months before now, saying that the government made it easier and simpler for the transporters.
“We had a three-month engagement with the transport unions as to how much they were paying to touts; all these non-governmental organisations and we reduced that amount and said pay this amount to the state.
“Once they pay that amount, no other person has any right to… For instance, Keke people were paying between N1,200 to N1,500 every day. And we said no, pay N600 a day. And with that N600, they’re entitled to many things including access to government’s parks free of charge for that period”, Madiebo explained.