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Commercial Tricycle Operators Shutdown Awka, to Protest Anambra Government Tax Hike



Commercial tricycles operators in Awka, Anambra State capital, on Thursday crippled vehicular movements in the city as they protest enforcement of a monthly N15,000 tax by the state government.

The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions including: “Soludo wants to kill us. We say no to Soludo” “We cannot pay N15,000”, “We are driving hire purchase,” “I am the breadwinner of the family, N15000 is too high”, among others.

One of the operators who himself as Ajebo said the timing of the new tax enforcement was 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.

The protesters also complained over the constant clampdown on their members by personnels 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 which lasted several hours, commercial transport operators in the capital including shuttle bus drivers refused to ferry passengers, leaving many stranded on the streets.

Many commuters resorted to trekking in various parts of the city as a result of the protest.

Governor Chukwuma Soludo had few months ago 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.

As 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.

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