Truck drivers and chipping dealers have protested over the Bayelsa State government’s multiple levies and harassment by the government’s task force.
The drivers, who blocked the entrance into the state capital at Igbogene toll gate in the early hours of yesterday, obstructed movement in and out of the state.
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Speaking with newsmen at the scene of the protest, the Chairman of Chipping Association, Mr Ikechukwu Nweke, said the problem started on Monday when the taskforce blocked the trucks carrying chippings from entering the state except they pay additional N2000 from the existing N7000 they have been paying daily.
He said: “We have been paying N7000 per truck everyday as levy, though the amount is exorbitant, but as peaceful people, we cooperate with them, but on Monday, they blocked our trucks from taking chippings into the state except they pay additional N2000.
“Government introduced unified levy, we complied, just to have peaceful business here in Bayelsa State, but the sanitation office came out again with additional amount. Where shall we have money to pay for all those levies.
“The taxation and levies are becoming too much for us. We have written to the state government to complain about these things, we pay N6000 for unified ticket, N1000 to the national union and now sanitation has come out with their own. How much do we make from the business?”
A government revenue agent, Mr Doubra Kumokou, said the previous government had introduced harmonised tax system to curtail the multiple levies but was surprised when the sanitation office introduced additional taxation without even consulting anyone.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Mrs Grace Ekiotene, said the ministry would meet with all the transport unions to resolve the issue.