Residents of Lagos state may likely pay more and higher transport fares as the Lagos state government has imposed new annual levy of N292, 000 on each commercial bus driver.
The levy is aside other levies that commercial bus drivers pay to touts or “agberos” at almost every bus stops daily.
All commercial bus operators in Lagos will now pay the N292,000 annual levy to the state government under a new Consolidated Informal Sector Transport Levy.
The new levy by government is aside tickets issued by the National Union of Road Transport Workers across the state.
The move is designed to harmonise dues collected by government from commercial motorists at parks and garages.
Commissioner for Finance in the state, Dr Rabiu Olowo, asserted that the levy pegged at a flat rate of N800, covered monies for local government, clearing of waste from the motor parks, which was being paid to the Lagos State Waste Management Agency, and pollution, dues which were collected by Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, among others.
“Personal income taxes of the drivers will also be deducted from the N800 levy which commences with immediate effect,” Olowo said.
According to the report, each commercial bus driver was expected to pay N800 daily, which accumulates into N24,000 monthly and N292,000 in a year with this harmonised levy.
Confirming the development, Chairman of Lagos State Chapter of NURTW, Alhaji Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly known as ‘MC Oluomo,’ who noted that the union in collaboration with the Road Transport Workers Union had approached the state government to consolidate the fees collected by different LGAs and agencies to make collection easier for government.
MC Oluomo explained that the new development affects only government levies but has nothing to do with the union dues charged.
However, Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Transportation, Mr Toyin Fayinka, said that the development was the phase one approach towards total restructuring of the transport sector; saying it is expected to bring sanity to motor parks in line with best practices globally.
He explained that money collected as levies before now were lost to unknown agents.
Stressing that research had shown that an average commercial bus paid at least N3,000 as due per day while some buses paid as high as N8,000 to N9,000.
“The new development is a form of revenue assurance, that would have a strong implication on reduction of levies paid by bus drivers at different points/parks before now.
“It will drastically reduce the suffering of the people as it is expected to reduce the cost of road transportation,” he added.