By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN – FORMER Chief whip of the Senate, Senator Rowland Owie, yesterday urged President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua to direct the appropriate ministries to revert the 40 per cent duties being proposed on imported tyres in the country in order not to further increase the pains experienced in the transport sector by Nigerians.
Senator, who also is the leader of Action Congress (AC) in Edo State, while commending the President for shelving the planned deregulation of the petroleum industry which he described as a time bomb, said that transportation business in the Nigeria was already at a sorry state due to bad state of roads.
He said that any attempt to increase duties on imported tyres would bring more pains on Nigerians.
Owie, who spoke to Vanguard yesterday in Benin City, lamented:Â Â â€œToday, it takes 8-10 hours for a vehicle to travel from Lagos to Benin. What a shame that for over ten years, our roads have been dead!
â€œWe are aware that the Obasanjo administration neglected all our roads through- out his tenure in spite of the cries of Nigerians. It is sad because he received the highest revenue from oil in eight years that he was president but nothing to show for it.
â€œTherefore, it will not be in the interest of the ordinary Nigerian to increase the duties on tyres. Such increase will further increase the burden on the people. The president should know that over 95 per cent of Nigerians travel by road”.