Governor Prof. Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra has restricted the movement of tricycle and shuttle bus unions in the state.
The operation of touts operating in motor parks in the state was also stopped.
This was made known in a press release by the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Paul Nwosu.
Part of the release read: “In order to forestall breakdown of law and order, the state government hereby suspends all tricycle and shuttle bus unions in the state with immediate effect for six months.
“This is pending further investigations and possible harmonization of the unions which shall have a leadership known to, and recognized by, the State Government.
“This is as a follow-up to the government’s recent consultation with the direct representatives of tricycle and shuttle bus operators.
“Government has considered their plea and decided to offer them a convenient payment option and other fringe benefits that could add value to their well-being.”
It will be recalled that last Thursday and Friday, there were protests by tricycle and bus operators in Awka, who had argued about the N15,000 and N20,000 monthly tax imposed on them by the government.
Reacting to the protest, Anambra government disclosed the union and touts masking as income agents were deceiving and overtaxing the operators.
“Tricycle operators now have the option of paying N4,000 weekly or N15,000 monthly. However, tricycle operators in the 8 Local Government Areas that are affected by the curfew will pay N3,000 weekly or N12,000 monthly.
“They will revert to the normal rates of N4,000 weekly or N15,000 monthly as soon as the curfew is lifted. Shuttle bus operators will pay N5,000 weekly or N20,000 monthly,” the statement said.
The state government, however, have said NANS shuttle buses in the area will pay N2,500 weekly or N10,000 monthly.
“This group will also revert to the normal rates of N5,000 weekly or N20,000 monthly as soon as the strike is called off. Taxis will pay N4,375 weekly or N17,500 monthly.
“Township bus will pay N5,000 weekly or N20,000 monthly. Mini truck and Pickups will pay N5,000 weekly or N20,000 monthly respectively. Intra-state will pay N6,250 weekly or N25,000 monthly.
“Loading and offloading in government (public) parks will now be free. Moving forward, every compliant commercial vehicle driver will get a free Health Insurance cover that would enable the insured have access to basic health and emergency services in any Anambra State hospital.
“Government wishes to reiterate its ban on touts (agbero) and cult groups that are used to enforce illegal collection of tolls and taxes.
“Only government accredited agents are entitled to collect tolls. Alternatively, the commercial vehicle operator could go and pay at any of the banks or any Anambra State Internal Revenue Service (AIRS) pay-point nearest to him.”