Commercial vehicle drivers in Badagry axis have rejected the newly introduced N800 levy imposed on buses and cars by the Lagos State Government.
The drivers who were protesting against an increase in the levy from N500 to N800 vowed not go back to the road unless the LASG rescinded from the new levy.
The strike by the commercial vehicle drivers had rendered many passengers stranded at Badagry roundabout, Mowo, Aradagun and Agbara areas of the state.
Mr Jim Feyisayo, Chairman Ebute-Ero- Seme 18-passengers bus, said it was time to end the exploitation.
“Most of us have been moved to the walls now because of series of extortion by the tout and police at different check points.
“Paying the N500 levy by the government is not easy for us, but to our surprise the levy was increased to N800 on Thursday, this is too much on our side.
“From the middle of last year, it was fuel increase, then from three check points, the police increased it to over 10 points and we have to drop at least N100 at each point.
“Most of the drivers cannot boast of going home at the end of the day with N1,000 after daily delivery to the vehicle owner.
“We are appealing to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to come to our aid by reducing the levy to its former N500.
“The levy should not be from one bus stop to another. Let it be in one bus stop only.
“Things are very hard now and everyone is finding it difficult to survive,” he said.
Mr Ismaila Adewuyi, a driver plying Igbo Elerin to Badagry, urged the government to reduce the levy for the sake of the masses.
“For the past few days now, passengers have been stranded on the road due to the protest by our members due to this new levy.
“The only available means of transportation, commercial motorcyclists known as Okada, have also double their fare and this is telling on the passengers.
“We are begging the government to rescind the decision, if not driver’s will not go back to roads in Badagry area, we cannot be working for touts at every bus stop,” he said.
Adewuyi also cautioned touts under the National Union of Road Transport Workers(NURTW) and Road Transport Employee Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) to stop vandalising commercial vehicles under the guise of collecting levy.
“You see most of these touts carrying stick, rod and heavy plank and using them to destroy our vehicles just because they want to collect levy, this should stop,” he said.
Mr Salami Akande, a commercial cab driver called on the present administration of Lagos State to reconsider the new levy and save the masses from endless wait at bus stops in the area.