Ben Ezechime, Enugu
Tricycle operators, popularly known as Keke riders, in the University town of Nsukka, Enugu State, have cried out over the newly introduced N2500 weekly ticket by the administration of Governor Peter Mbah.
In exclusive interviews with Ikengaonline, some of the operators decried the levy, describing it as inhumane and a tough target for them.
They lamented that the government did not carry them along before coming out with the policy, saying that it was a harsh decision by the government considering the current economic hardship in the land.
One of the Keke riders, Mr Ignatius Asanya, said that the online levy had reduced his weekly take home because his Keke was a hire-purchase arrangement.
“The levy has thrown me into total confusion. This is because I am in a hire-purchase arrangement which means that, I am paying back certain amount to the owner until I finished before it becomes my own
“Now, with N2500 every week it means N10,000 monthly levy, before paying for hire-purchase and feed four children, my wife and myself; so, it is difficult,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Andrew Agbo said he rented his keke and made returns every week while whatever was left becomes his weekly income.
“I am just thinking of what to do because if things continue this way, I may just opt out and find something else to do and leave keke business for them.
“If I continue to pay N2500 to the government with other minor payments here and there and I am expected to balance my account every Saturday, it means I am just working for people and wasting my energy,” he said.
Mallam Aliyu Yahaya, another keke rider in Nsukka simply smiled and said he was finding it difficult to meet up with the new levy.
“The thing is not easy, government should please help us,” he said.
Our correspondent learnt that the Keke riders recently met with the Chairman of Nsukka Local Government council, Honorable Walter Ozioko, to complain about the situation.
However, it was learnt that the chairman simply told them to go and abide by the decisions of the government.
It would be recalled that the new administration in Enugu State recently introduced an e-ticketing module for all categories of levies in the state.
The State chairman of Internally Generated Revenue (IRS) said this was to ensure a harmonised revenue collection throughout the state.