The Lagos State Government, in conjunction with relevant transport stakeholders in the state, yesterday, introduced and signed a consolidated levy of N800 daily, to be paid by commercial transporters in the state’s informal transport sector.
The N800 harmonized levy, which was disclosed by the Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Dr Rabiu Olowo, at the signing ceremony and ticket unveiling in Ikeja, is said to be separate from the normal statutory dues collected by these unions, and was introduced in order, not to over-burden transporters with exorbitant levies.
According to Dr Olowo, the Harmonized levy covers for the local government charges and clearing of waste from the motor parks, which was being paid to the Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA). It also covers pollution dues which were collected by Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA).
Similarly, he reiterated that personal income taxes of the drivers will also be deducted from the N800 levy which commences with immediate effect. Consequently, with this harmonized levy, each commercial bus driver is expected to pay N800 daily, which accumulates into N24,000 monthly and N292,000 in a year.
“Mr Governor has made it a priority to put the interest of Lagosians first that is why we all the stakeholders are here today. Before we came out, we have fought, disagreed, and agreed on the need to have our consolidated informal transport sector levy.
However, the NURTW chairman in Lagos, Musilihu Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo, clarified that the N800 would not cover the levy collected by the transport union members on the road, called, ‘agberos,’ saying it only affected the taxes and other charges being collected by Government.
“The government of 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,” Dr Oluwo said.
“I want to make it clear that the N800 only cover all the money collected by the MDAs, it does not affect the NURTW ticket,” Oluomo emphasized.
Personalties who attended the event were Special Adviser to the State Governor on Transportation, Mr Toyin Fayinka, Chairman and Secretary of Conference of 57, Mr David Kolade and Mr Razaq Ajala respectively.
Others included Chairman Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, LIRS, Mr Ayodele Subair, MD Lagos State Waste Management Authority, LAWMA, Mr Ibrahim Odumboni, National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Musilihu Akinsanya alias MC Oluomo, among others.