Operators of commercial tricycles in Awka, the Anambra State capital have protested the enforcement of a monthly N15,000 tax by the state government.
Tribune Online gathered that the operators complained over the constant hounding of their members by policemen, personnel of OCHA Brigade, a civil security outfit in the state, and operatives of Anambra Vigilante security services, which were used to enforce the payment.
During the protest, the operators including operators of shuttle buses refused to ferry passengers, leaving many stranded on the streets.
They carried placards expressing their pains over the high tax. Some of the placards read: “Soludo wants to kill us. We say no to Soludo” “We cannot pay N15,000”, “We are driving hire purchase,” and “I am the breadwinner of the family, N15000 is too high,” among others.
One of the operators who gave his name as Ajebo said the timing of the enforcement is sudden and not convenient for them.
“The government is putting so much pain and hardship on us. I am driving hired purchase and I am responsible for every cost incurred. The amount of the taxing is too much,” he said.
Many people in the capital city today were unable to meet their schedules as a result of the development.
Our correspondent who monitored the situation saw a lot of people trekking in various parts of the city as a result of the protest.
Soludo had months back unveiled a new tax regime, which confers monthly payment of N15,000 to all tricycle operators, as against the daily payment, which the Soludo administration said amounted to over N1,000, and which was illegally collected.
At the time of filing this report, police operatives had dispersed the protesters who made bonfires on several roads in the city, while many had been arrested at the popular Aroma junction, in the state capital.