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Anambra: Keke Drivers Block Major Roads Over New Tax

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Operators of commercial rickshaws, commonly known as keke blocked major routes into Awka, the Anambra State capital on Wednesday, in protest over the introduction of a new tax by the state.

They blocked Aroma junction to Amawbia as well as some inner-city roads and described the new tariff as insensitive.

The Anambra State government had announced a monthly upfront payment of N15,000 for all keke operators starting from 1 July.

With the new tariff, they would no longer need to pay any money to approved and/or unapproved money collectors at parks and on the roads.

But the operators argued that the government has failed to checkmate the activities of touts who extort them.

They said they would be forced to pay money to the touts after paying the new government levy.

This would make it difficult to meet up with their personal needs, they said.

“This 15,000 is very much on the high side. It’s not just paying 15,000 but you’re paying it ahead of time.

“It is not the usual practice we have here.

“I even pleaded for it to be every week. It was turned down completely at revenue house.

“They informed us actually, but our suggestion as to what would make it be good was ignored from A to Z,” the state Chairman of the Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria, Sylvester Obiorah told Nigeria Info.

Government Defends Tax

The Anambra State Government on its part said the new tax is lower than what the keke operators had been paying.

The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Chukwuma Soludo on IGR and Digital Transformation, Isaac Okoroexplained that the N15,000 monthly levy is the equivalent of paying N600 for 25 days, rather than the N1,000 – N1,200 daily fee the operators currently pay.

He also disclosed that the government had suspended all forms of revenue collection since 17 March when Governor Soludo was sworn in.

Mr. Okoro acknowledged the harassment of keke operators by touts but said the government has deployed a special squad to mop up the ones that remain on the streets.


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