By Gabriel Enogholase
BENINâ€”OPERATORS of private motor parks at Auchi, Estako West local government area of Edo State have appealed to the state government to urgently stem the crisis brewing in the area over an alleged imposition of daily levy of N2000 per vehicles loading from their parks by the local government council.
Vanguard gathered that the levy recently introduced by the authorities of the Estako West local government council was contractedÂ to the local National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), but was strongly resisted by the operators of private parks who viewed the levy as double taxation.
According to the spokesman of the private park operators, Mr. Abu Dokpesi, who also is the owner of Afemai Line, private motor company owners were already obligated to the council in the payment of haulage fees, loading and off loading, Radio/Television permit, Environmental Sanitations and advert display on their vehicles in addition to paying taxation to the state government under its new tax regime.
Mr. Dokpesi, who noted that the levy was peculiar to the Estako West local government council, appealed to Governor Adams Oshiomhole to urgently call the council and the NURTW to order to avert a break down of law and order in the area.
He disclosed that members of the NURTW now cash in on the directive from the council to harass private motor company operators and even chase away commuters from boarding their vehicles to different parts of the federation.
Vanguard learnt that there was almost a breakdown of law and order in Auchi when the NURTW members went about deflating tyres of vehicles belonging to the private transporters, but the timely intervention of the police saved the day.
Contacted the Vice-Chairman of the Estako West local government council, Mr.Jimoh Omogbai, explained thatÂ private park owners were invited to a meeting with the authorities of the council before the bye-law on the levy was passed into law.
Dismissing the allegation that the private park owners were being levied N2,000, he could not, however, ascertained the exact levy they were asked to pay, saying the levy was less..