Commercial tricycle operators, popularly called 'KekeNAPEP’ in Abia have threatened to embark on strike on Nov. 12 over alleged imposition of re-registration levies by the state Ministry of Transport.
Some of the commercial tricycle operators interviewed by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Aba on Saturday decried the incessant exploitation.
Mr Chima Uzokwa, one of the operators, told NAN that the ministry had mandated them to pay N1800 for re-registration and N200 to pick the form.
He said that they were asked to re-register with the ministry to checkmate theft of their tricycles. Uzokwa said that they had been directed to pay the money in an Ecobank account.
The operator stressed that the ministry had also directed the officials to seize the tricycles of defaulters. According to him, it is one of the numerous levies imposed on the members apart from N7500 for registration of new tricycle in the state.
He said that they were paying N20 ticket per trip to agent of Abia State Tricycle Owners Association and N180 daily ticket to the agents of the ministry.
Uzokwa appealed for Gov. Theodore Orji’s intervention to save them from further exploitation. He said that the governor might not be aware of some of these levies, which portrayed the administration in bad light.
Meanwhile, Mr Jude Chukwu, the Chairman of the Campaign for Democracy (CD) in Abia, told NAN that they were in full support of the planned strike by the commercial tricycles in the state.
He said that the new levy was another extortion plan on commercial tricycle operators in the state by the state Ministry of Transport.
"We saw it as extortion and non-democratic, our feeling is to alert the governor, maybe he was not aware of this re-registration exercise,’’ he said.
Chief Ukpai Agwu Ukpai, the state Commissioner for Transport, told NAN that the ministry was holding meetings with the stakeholder to avert the strike. He, however, declined to comment on the new levy on the commercial tricycle operators.