Africa News Bulletin

Lagos daily levy of ₦800 on transporters stalls

Payment of the ₦800 daily levy the Lagos State government imposed on commercial transporters failed to commence, yesterday, as transport unions defied the directive that unions should not collect dues at every bus stop.

The state government had announced on January 18 that from February 1, 2022 transporters would pay N800 levy excluding union dues collected by the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN).

Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, who disclosed this at the agreement signing ceremony involving Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), councils and transport unions, said the harmonised levy was to ensure better organisation of the transport sector to fit into a 21st century economy.

But a visit to some parts of the state showed that transporters did not comply with the directive. The ₦800 ticket was not issued in Mile 2, Oshodi, Iyana-Ipaja, Cele and Oju-elegba.

“In Mile 2 for instance, inward Orile, managed by NURTW, persons collecting money from commercial drivers wore a blue apron with Amuwo-Odofin and tax collector engraved on it.

“He was collecting ₦200 from each of the vehicles. On the opposite side, managed by RTEAN, persons dressed in yellow shirt and trousers were collecting money with others dressed in mufti.

“In other places, there were no identified persons collecting any levy on behalf of the state or local governments. All the people collecting money were dressed in the NURTW, RTEAN uniform, apron or mufti.

And there were multiple collections by union representatives. It was also observed that in many of the bus stops along the corridors monitored, persons claiming to be union officers were collecting money in defiant to government directives.

MEANWHILE, following a reassessment of the ‘No Vehicle Inspection, No Road Worthiness Certificate’ policy, which commenced in January 2022, the Lagos State government has introduced a booking system to check rowdiness in some vehicle inspection centres.

Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, who announced the amendment, stated that vehicle inspection process would now be based strictly on appointments.

He further revealed that the 30 days window of inspection period has been reviewed to 60 days to reduce panic in some of the inspection centres, adding that the backlog of referred vehicles would be cleared by February 14 to allow for the booking system.

Oladeinde also maintained that the policy, which was introduced to check rickety vehicles and accidents, loss of life and property within the metropolis was aimed at addressing the traffic congestion caused by breakdown of vehicles due to the old process, which was no longer sustainable.

Original story on Guardian

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