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Commercial Drivers Appeal For Reduction In Levies Amid COVID-19 Challenges

Some concerned commercial taxi drivers in Port Harcourt,the Rivers State capital have made a passionate appeal to the Rivers State government and the National Union of  Road Transport Workers, NURTW over what they described as burden of transport business , against the background of the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

They condemned in its entirety high rate of levies paid by members per day. They called for drastic reduction in daily levies collected by officials.

Speaking on this development, Mr. Andrew Ogu stated how high levies had impacted his business. According to him,the state levies which is N300 and the N200 paid to the Union are not the only levies paid by commercial operators,he said that loading money also ranges from N150 to N200 sometimes. Mr. Ogu lamented that an average taxi driver spends between N700 to N1000 per day in settlement of levies.

Another driver who corroborated Ogu reacted that since the outbreak of COVID-19, commercial activities had been experiencing a serious challenge, not different from what others experienced in many other sectors of the economy. He stated in so much as commercial drivers were trying to understand the situation of things at the moment and doing everything possible to observe COVID-19 protocols, government and the Union should help reduce daily levies which had continued to take its toll on the drivers whose only means of livelihood derived from plying the roads.

The commercial drivers were unanimous in their call for reduction in the daily levies. They called for slash to the tune of 50 per cent in the state and NURTW levies,even as they agreed that reduction in number of passengers because of the need for social distancing had further negatively impacted their activities.

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