The Anambra State Government has suspended the activities of all tricycle and shuttle bus unions with immediate effect for a period of 6 months as part of efforts to tackle the rising level of insecurity in the state.
The state government also insisted on its ban on all touts (agbero) and cult groups that are used to enforce illegal collection of tolls and taxes.
This disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the Anambra State Commissioner for Information, Paul Nwosu, who said that the decision was taken after Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s meeting with State Executive Council.
Nwosu said that the leadership tussles within the unions were also causing conflicts and disrupting of peaceful movement of residents of the state.
What the Commissioner for Information is saying
Nwosu stated that there were conflicts arising from different persons and entities claiming to be the appropriate authority to unionise tricycle and shuttle bus operators or their owners, adding that tricycle owners had openly rejected the claims by the so-called union leaders, contending that the unions were not working for them.
The statement reads, ”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 government’s recent consultation with the direct representatives of tricycle and shuttle bus operators, 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.
“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, 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.
“Township bus will pay N5, 000 weekly or N20,000 monthly. Mini truck and pick up will pay N5,000 weekly or N20,000 monthly respectively. Intra-state will pay N6,250 weekly or N25,000 monthly.
“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.’’
State government insists on banning touts, cult groups
On the ban on touts and cult groups, the statement government while insisting on it said that only accredited agents had the right to collect tolls, while payment could also be made directly through banks and State Inland Revenue Service.
It advised all the former touts and cultists, who had no legitimate jobs to register their names and phone numbers in their Local Government Area councils.
He said, “Government wishes to reiterate its ban on touts (agbero) 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.’’
The statement further enjoined operators and members of the public to report the activities of agberos to designated telephone numbers, while the disbanded motor park touts and cultists.