As against the N200 stipulated by the Oyo state government under the newly introduced park management system, commercial vehicle operators in Ibadan are paying amounts ranging between N400 and N600 daily.
From Iwo Road to Mokola, Agodi Gate, Sango, the story when Nigerian Tribune on Monday spoke with drivers of taxicabs across some motor parks in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.
In their various conversations, the drivers lamented that they paid N400 for the government-issued ticket covering the stipulated N200 and another N200 for the park managers cum area boys aside from between N50 and N100 paid to their respective local government councils.
It was gathered that the situation almost turned riotous at Iwo Road area, with the drivers insisting on paying only the N200 stipulated by the government but for the intervention of senior drivers to asked them to remain calm for them to inform the state government on the latest development.
For several who spoke with Nigerian Tribune, the lamented that the situation had heaped more burden on the drivers.
They added that it was the same set of union people, though of one faction, that we’re still the ones collecting the levies under the umbrella of being park managers.
Speaking, Mr Komolafe Olaoluwa a driver plying Lagelu – Mokola road said, “With the ticket introduced, I paid N400 today. Previously, I paid N250. We then paid N50 to the local government council and N200 to the garage. However, the amount written on the ticket is N200, yet we pay N400. We also pay another N200 to the garage making a total of N600. A fight almost erupted here to protest the increased sums of money we are paying but our Ogas (seniors) asked us to remain calm for this week and that they’ll appeal to the governor to reduce the ticket fees.”
Another driver, Bolanle Olagoke, plying Iwo Road-Mokola said, “We have had to pay N400 today and we will still pay this same amount tomorrow. We have asked that we are allowed to pay the sum of N200 as before, that is, a ticket of N100 and loading fee of N100. This current system stresses our finances more than before. Moreover, it’s the same union members like before, though those of one faction, that is collecting the money.”
On his part, Mr Adabale Biodun who runs Iwo Road-Sango, said, “N200 is on the ticket but we are being asked to pay N400 every day. How do we make ends meet when we only charge N100 per passenger? Every day, we spend money on fixing wear and tear of our vehicles. N400 daily is too much. This system is even tougher than the past regime.”
In his analysis of the situation, another driver, Idowu Obatokun said, “About two weeks ago, the government announced a park manager system or so. Here at Gate, we pay N350. We pay N200, N50 to the council, N100 to the Area boys. But today, at Oju Irin garage, we were asked to get a ticket for N200, N100 for Area boys and another N200 here at Gate making a total of N500. Over the media, what we heard was that we’ll only pay N200 daily but today we have paid N500. It’s the same garage people that are collecting this money. The government should ensure that we don’t pay beyond the stipulated N200.”
One Remi Olaifa who runs the Gate-UI route said, “We heard that we’ll get a ticket of N200 and pay N200 to the park. Previously, we paid N300, which is N100 for ticket and N200 for Area boys. Yet, we still have to pay N50 to the local government. We now have to pay N450.”
For Ayodele Dennis who runs the Iwo Road-Sango route, the government must arrest the situation to prevent the business from being unbearable. “Things continue to get difficult. We pay N200 for ticket and N200 for our Ogas here at the garage. We have to pay from garage to garage. It’s either they reduce the ticket cost or the garage amount. Some of us got these vehicles on hire purchase and bear several costs daily. Previously, we get a ticket for N100 and pay N200 to the area boys. The government only attempts to ensure peace hence introduced park manager but it’s the same union people that are still collecting the money from us,” Dennis said.
Meanwhile, the state government had last week frowned at the collection of revenue from commercial vehicle operators by some unauthorized persons, noting that it will bring the full weight of the law upon such individuals.
State Commissioner for Public Works and Transport, Professor Raphael Afonja who sounded this warning, said only the park managers and agents engaged by the consultant to the state government were empowered to collect revenue from commercial vehicle operators.
Afonja, represented by Mr Bolaji Oyekanmi, gave the warning during a one-day capacity training for agents recruited for the daily collection of revenue at motor parks across the 33 local government areas in the state.
While noting that the state government had activated measures to curb the illegal collections, Afonja said it was high time such illegal revenue collectors exercised restraint.