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Anambra State government has held very important talks with Tricycle (Keke) and Shuttle Bus operators in an effort to settle lingering revenue impasse in the state.
The Eastern Updates gathered that the meeting, held at the Dr. Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka, at the weekend, was attended by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Onyeka Ibezim, Special Adviser to Governor Charles Soludo on Security, Air Vice Marshal Ben Chiobi (Rtd), and representatives of Tricycle and Shuttle Bus operators Association.
Ibezim, who addressed the gathering, said the state government is working towards resolving the revenue matter with the association, with the aim of restoring sanity in the free movement of people, goods, and services in the state.
He charged the unions to conduct themselves in orderly manner as they present their position, so that their views will be heard to enable government take decisions that will benefit all.
He asked for peaceful environment, maintaining that the state government considers the welfare of all citizens as its top priority, insisting that his presence was to see that the issue is amicably resolved.
In his remark, Chiobi observed that the resistance was probably as a result of misunderstanding from the leadership of the association, as agreement was initially made with proper consultations with the unions.
He explained that the meeting was a democratic approach towards having a direct discussion with the tricycle operators in settling the revenue issue.
‘The meeting has provided government an opportunity to have direct contact with members of the association. We promise that more meetings will be held to resolve the issue,’ the security aide added.
In their speeches, Mr. Anthony Ejike, who claimed that he is a tricycle operator, maintained that N15,000 monthly tax payment is a huge amount to be paid once, while suggesting that it should be reduced and a convenient payment process arranged.
Also speaking, a tricycle operator, Johnson Munaya, also called for reduction of the tax to N10,000, as he commended the state government for checking the menace of touts, who extort money from them.
The tricycle and shuttle bus operators unions withdrew their services to the public for two days, last week, in the state capital, Awka, following protest against state government’s imposition of N25,000 and N15,000 monthly tax for tricycle and shuttle bus operators, respectively.
Many residents and commuters in the state capital were stranded and could not get to work, market etc, while many resorted to trekking to their destinations.