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Lagos warns commercial drivers against fare increase over N800 govt levy

 The Lagos State Government has warned intrastate commercial drivers that the harmonised N800 daily levy they will each pay to the governm...


 The Lagos State Government has warned intrastate commercial drivers that the harmonised N800 daily levy they will each pay to the government starting from February 1 shouldn’t warrant an increase in transport fares.

The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, said rather than creating an additional burden, the levy would stop multiple charges motorists paid to agencies and local government authorities.

The state and local governments, transport unions and other relevant agencies in the state on Tuesday signed an agreement on the ‘Consolidated Informal Transport Sector Levy’ to harmonise dues collected by the government from commercial motorists at parks and garages across the State.

The Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, stated that the N800 covered the local government levy, charges paid to the Ministry of Transportation, the Lagos State Waste Management Authority for clearing waste from motor parks and the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency.

He noted that the approach was part of the efforts to restructure the transport system and further boost the government revenues, adding that personal income taxes of the drivers would be deducted from the N800 levy.

Speaking on the levy, the state Chairman of the National Union Road of Transport Workers, Alhaji Musiliu Ayinde, aka Oluomo, said it would not stop drivers from paying their statutory dues to the union.

The development had generated fears of imminent fare increase among members of the public who believed they would be at the receiving end of the levy.

But Omotoso, in an interview with newsmen on Saturday, said the levy was not new and was a blessing to drivers and commuters rather than a burden.

He said any motorists, who increase fares as a result of the levy, was being mischievous and cautioned them against doing so.

He stated, “What we are doing is to ensure that drivers and passengers are protected. If the driver takes up from Badagry for example, and he is going to Lagos Island, between the two ends, there are about three to four local government areas and he has to pay some money at each local government.

“What the Lagos State Government is now doing is to harmonise the whole thing and ensure that once you collect a ticket from the take-off point, you don’t need to collect another ticket from anywhere. So once the money is collected, the local governments are going to get their own share there.

“There shouldn’t be (any increase). Any driver that wants to increase the fare because he has to pay N800 instead of N3,000 is being mischievous. That is why the unions are involved so that drivers won’t complain that they are paying N800 more.”

The commissioner also confirmed that the levy was different from the union dues and did not absolve drivers from paying for tickets issued by the unions.

He added, “They (drivers) pay as much as N3,000 to travel from one end to another and they are complaining. They are being carried along and many of them are embracing the idea (of N800 levy) and say that if it works, it will solve all their problems. If a driver pays N800 per day henceforth and anybody stops on the road claiming to be working for the local government, such person is committing an offence.

“But the levy has nothing to do with the unions because they collect their dues from drivers as members. A union has its own tickets and every driver gets it. If any driver doesn’t have it, the union has a right to demand payment.”



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Lagos warns commercial drivers against fare increase over N800 govt levy
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