From Obinna Odogwu, Awka
Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, has suspended commercial tricycle and shuttle bus unions in the state. He also banned touts from operating in the state’s motor parks.
Commissioner for Information, Paul Nwosu, in a public notice, said that the suspension became necessary to forestall possible breakdown of law and order in the state considering the activities of persons claiming to be leaders of the unions.
The government also asked all the sacked motor park touts to proceed to their various local government area offices and register for government-sponsored training and life-supporting skills that would commence very soon.
The announcement 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 a 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 have access to basic health and emergency services in any Anambra State hospitals.
“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 disbanded motor park touts and cultists who have no jobs should go and register their names and phone numbers with their Local Government Area offices. Government will train them on life-supporting skills or find them other means of livelihood that would enable them live a decent life.”