UCHENNA Okafor, the Anambra State commissioner for Transport, has directed Tricycle riders in the state not to remit their Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, to anybody, until ban is lifted.
Okafor said this while addressing no fewer than 50 Tricycle riders, who stormed the Jerome Udoji Secretariat Complex, Awka to protest against multiple tickets imposed on them daily.
The Tricycle riders known as `Keke Riders’, lamented that they were being forced by their union leaders to obtain those tickets under threat and intimidation.
“We are daily being threatened by those of them belonging to cult groups when we default in paying to obtain their tickets.’’
The commissioner noted that Governor Willie Obiano banned collection of IGR for some time now, so as to enable them to do carry on their businesses and able to feed their families.
“Government is interested in your social welfare and will want you to grow to become bus owners.
“Our problem is your union leaders, who were cautioned early this year to stop all illegalities, but have yet to be implemented.
“Government IGR is only N350 but you are forced to pay more than this; such things are not done among Motorcycle riders because they have a strong union.
“Recently, I dissolved your Union because we found out they do not protect your interest. Now, I want to deal directly with you to ensure your interest is protected,’’ the commissioner said.
He enjoined the Keke operators to submit names and phone numbers of those intimidating them to the Ministry, promising that security agencies would take up the matter.
The commissioner told the tricycle riders to appoint three persons that would represent them and submit their names to the Ministry’s Liaison Officer in charge of Tricycle affairs for immediate action.
Okafor, then, urged them to purchase only a ticket when ban on IGR would have been lifted by June this year.
Earlier, Chukwuemeka Iwuno, one of the tricycle riders, who spoke on behalf of others, pleaded with the commissioner to intervene in incessant levies imposed on them.
“They took pictures of us here, threatening to deal with us in the field.
‘They even offer some inducements to some members of the force to make them turn a blind eye whenever we are harassed by the agents in their presence,’’ Iwuno said.
– May 10, 2019 @ 13:25 GMT |