On Saturday, representatives of the Anambra State Government met with shuttle bus drivers and owners of commercial tricycles to discuss their strike action.
The owners have been refusing to transport customers throughout Awka for the past two days (Thursday and Friday).
Their complaint was that the state government insisted on charging them N15,000 each month in taxes.
The business owners also complained that, in addition to the N15,000 levy, the state’s prohibited louts continued to take money from them.
Dr. Onyeka Ibezim, the state’s deputy governor, told the demonstrators in Ekwueme Square, Awka, that the administration is working feverishly to find a solution to the income problem that made his attendance at the meeting necessary.
The state government prioritizes all of its inhabitants, thus Ibezim added, “We call on the union to behave themselves in an orderly manner so that their ideas can be heard and the government can adopt measures that will benefit everybody.”
Additionally, Air Vice Marshal Ben Chiobi (Rtd), the special adviser to Governor Chukwuma Soludo on security, noted that the meeting was a democratic method in having a direct link with tricycle riders in order to resolve the revenue issue.
“The agreement was initially made with adequate negotiations with the unions, therefore the resistance was presumably the result of misunderstanding or deliberate misinformation from the leadership.
The meeting gave us plenty of chances to speak with the passengers and drivers directly, and we pledge that additional meetings will be arranged to address the problem.
Mr. Anthony Ejike and Mr. Ifeanyi, two Keke riders who spoke at the meeting, underlined that the N15,000 monthly compensation for tricycle riders is quite large to be paid all at once and urged that a decrease and a comfortable payment mechanism be set up.
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