Governor of Anambra State, Professor Charles Soludo on Thursday suspended tricycle and shuttle bus union operators for an initial period of six months, blaming them for the breakdown of law and order in the State.
Anambra State Commissioner for Information, Paul Nwosu, said in a statement that there are conflicts arising from various persons and entities claiming to be the appropriate authority to unionize tricycle and shuttle bus operators or owners who have openly rejected these claims and insist that the unions are not working for them.
“In the light of the above and in order to forestall breakdown of law and order, the State Government hereby suspends all tricycle and shuttle bus unions in the State with immediate effect for six months, pending further investigations and possible harmonization of the unions which shall have a leadership known to, and recognized by, the State Government.
“Consequent on this and as a follow up to the government’s recent consultation with the direct representatives of tricycle and shuttle bus operators, the government has considered their plea and decided to offer them a convenient payment option and other fringe benefits that could add value to their well-being.”
Nwosu further reeled out levies for commercial operators and shuttle buses.
According to the statement by the Commissioner: “Tricycle operators now have the option of paying N4,000 weekly or N15,000 monthly. However, tricycle operators in the 8 Local Government Areas that are affected by the curfew will pay N3000 weekly or N12,000 monthly. They will revert to the normal rates of N4,000 weekly or N15,000 monthly as soon as the curfew is lifted.
“Shuttle bus operators will pay N 5,000 weekly or N20,000 monthly. But because of the ASUU strike that resulted in the closure of universities, the NANS shuttle bus will pay N2,500 weekly or N10,000 monthly. This group will also revert to the normal rates of N5,000 weekly or N20,000 monthly as soon as the strike is called off.
“Taxi will pay N4,375 weekly or N17,500 monthly. The Township bus will pay N5, 000 weekly or N20,000 monthly. Mini truck and Pickup will pay N5,000 weekly or N20,000 monthly respectively. Intra-state will pay N6,250 weekly or N25,000 monthly.”
The commissioner further stated that compliant commercial vehicle drivers will have access to free health insurance.
He said, “Loading and offloading in government (public) parks will now be free. Moving forward, every compliant commercial vehicle driver will get a free health insurance cover that would enable the insured to have access to basic health and emergency services in any Anambra State hospital.
“The government wishes to reiterate its ban on touts (agboro) and cult groups that are used to enforce illegal collection of tolls and taxes. Only government-accredited agents are entitled to collect tolls.
“Alternatively, the commercial vehicle operator could go and pay at any of the banks or any Anambra State Internal Revenue Service (AIRS) pay-point nearest to him. Operators and members of the public can report the activities of ‘agboros’ to the following Nos: 09093170790, 08156352767, 09017280990, 07039896429.”