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Keke and Taxi Drivers Revolt, Protest High Taxation in Anambra

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By Izunna Okafor, Awka

Commercial drivers of tricycles, popularly known as Keke Napep, and their taxi counterparts in Anambra State have vehemently protested the new tax system introduced and imposed on the by the Anambra State Government.

The protesting drivers were seen on Wednesday and Thursday as they blocked some major roads in the state, to register their disagreement with the new tax system, which they claim does not favour them.

Recall that Governor Chukwuma Soludo had approved a new rate for transport sectors in the state which indicated that henceforth, motorcycle operators (Okada riders), would pay N300 daily at N7, 500 monthly, N21, 000 with a discount of N1,500 for one quarter or N40, 500 with a discount of N4, 500 for half a year.

According to a statement signed by the Head of Taxpayer Education and Enlightenment Team in the Anambra State Internal Revenue Service (AiRS), Mrs Sylvia Tochukwu-Ngige, the new tax system recommends that Keke riders would be paying N600 daily at the cost of N15,000 monthly, or N42,000 with a discount of N3,000 for one quarter or N81, 000 with a discount of N9, 000 for half a year.

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The statement further stipulates that Shuttle/Bus drivers would be paying N1,000 daily; N25, 000 monthly or N70,000 with a discount of N5, 000 for one quarter; or N135, 000 with a discount of N15, 000 for half a year.

It further states that the daily tax rate for taxi drivers henceforth would be N700, or N17, 500 for one month; or N49,000 quarterly with a discount of N3,500; or N94, 500 half a year, with a discount of N11; while township bus operators would pay N1, 200 daily, at the cost of N30,000 for one month, N84,000 with a discount of N6,000 for one quarter and N162, 000 with a discount of N18,000 for half a year.

The statement added that pick-up van daily fee is N1, 000 at the cost of N25,000 for one month, N70,000 with a discount of N5,000 for one quarter and N135, 000 with a discount of N15,000 for half a year.

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However, these commercial drivers protested around Awka, Onitsha, Nnewi and Ekwulobia axis on Wednesday and Thursday, arguing that the amounts are very expensive for them to remit, considering that majority of them drive hire purchase vehicles.

In an interview with newsmen, a keke operator, Mr Ikechi Anake, stated that previously, they were paying N450 daily with exemption of Sundays, adding that Soludo’s administration new tax rate of N15,000 per month is very unfavourable to them, compared to the N450 they used to pay to Agberos everyday (excluding Sundays).

He also lamented that they have been asked to register with government at rate of N1,500, while the Agberos are also compelling them to come and register with them at the rate of N1,500, making it a total of N3,000 for registration.

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