Commercial bus operators in Lagos have reacted to the N800 levy the state government would start collecting starting from Tuesday, February 1, 2022.
Lagos State finance commissioner, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, who revealed this at the agreement-signing ceremony by Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), local councils and transport unions, said that the consolidated levy collection became pertinent as the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s government is committed to ensuring that the transport sector in the state is organised and fits into a 21st-century economy.
According to Olowo, each transporter would be entitled to a tax card daily to have a hitch-free exercise, adding that the levy would serve as payment of tax by the transporters.
His words: “Mr. Governor has made it a priority to put the interest of Lagosians first, that is why all the stakeholders are here today. Before we came out, we had fought, disagreed, and agreed on the need to have our consolidated informal transport sector levy.
“The government of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has inspired that we all come together to have a consolidated levy that takes care of personal income taxes, dues on environment Local Government levy and others. We want to reduce the multiplicity of collection taxes, dues, and levies.
“We want to build a reliable database so that all the players will be captured in the same data; we want to have bus drivers with their cards; we want to bring collaborative engagement,” adding the development was a remarkable achievement happening for the first time in the state.”
Reacting to this development, a commercial bus driver in the Ogba area of the state, who identified himself as Godwin Emenike, told BizWatch Nigeria, that when the newly-introduced fee became effected, his passengers would be the one to bear it.
“I have a lot I’m paying already just to feed my family, and do you expect them to impose this fee on me and I incur it alone?” he queried.
Like Emenike, Ololade Rahmon, who told our correspondent that he’s indifferent about the levy.
Rahmon’s words: “This government is for everyone, and it may surprise you to know that we won’t be the one to bear this alone. How much profit do we make that we are obliged to pay two different levies to work? Honestly, I don’t think this is fair. But we are all in this together.”
When asked if the N800 levy for each commercial vehicle operator would influence an increment in fare, Rahmon said “most likely.”