It would be recalled that on Tuesday, January 18, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, the Lagos State Finance Commissioner, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, while addressing stakeholders at the agreement-signing ceremony by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), local councils, and transport unions, stated that this development became pertinent, as the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s government is committed to a 21st-century economy.
N800 levy: Lagos transporters react, says passengers will bear the burden
Lagos transporters have reacted to the N800 daily levy the state government announced would be imposed on them starting from Tuesday, February 1, 2022.
Olowo added that with the N800 daily levy, Lagos transporters would experience a significant drop in the multiplicity of levies they are obliged to pay as they work.
“The N800 is a single structured collection of the monies payable to all government agencies and parties who are directly or indirectly associated with the transport sector. What the government has done is to organize the collection and reduce the multiplicity of levies and all sorts of taxes, dues, and monies due to the government from the transport unions. Bus drivers will get tax cards, and the issue of arbitrary payments will be eradicated once they pay from the point of their loading each day,” the commissioner was quoted as saying.
However, while many commercial vehicle drivers in the state were still debating the N800 fee, the Chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers Union (NURTW), Alhaji Musiliu Akinsanya, who’s otherwise known as MC Oluomo, clarified that it would not deprive members of his organization of collecting its normal statutory levy.
“The harmonized levy will not affect the national union ticket,” the NURTW chief stated.
The newly-introduced levy has nonetheless generated reactions from Lagos transporters, who said they are most likely not going to be affected.
According to them, when the new directive becomes effective, passengers are likely going to experience a hike in transport fares.
Speaking with this correspondent on this matter, a commercial bus driver in the Ogba area of the state, Taiwo Awolabi, lamented that the levy was introduced at a time when Nigerians are struggling to feed themselves daily.
Awolabi said even though he doesn’t have a problem paying it, he’s worried about the outcome of it. “To me as a person, I don’t think I have much to say on the matter. But all you can hear from me at the moment is that once the government makes decisions like this, there is no going back, and whoever gets hurt along the line doesn’t matter.
“It is really not a good time for a lot of us, but what can we do?” he queried.
Like Awolabi, Sunday Udoh, who’s also a commercial bus driver in the Berger area of the state, said he and his peers might not get hurt, as much as passengers would.
While Udoh expressed hope that he and his colleagues would adjust to the development with time, he expressed fear that some passengers may get frustrated.
In his words, “Already, people are facing untold hardship in the country. And with this levy, we might not have a choice but to increase our fares, which will be stressful for some passengers.”
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