Commuters using the popular commercial tricycles, otherwise known as keke, may soon revert to trekking to and from work in Anambra State. This follows the likelihood of the Anambra Shuttle Bus Drivers Forum (ASBDF) and Anambra Keke Riders Forum(AKDF) withdrawing their services to the public any moment soon in protest over the heavy regime of taxation by the Anambra State Government, Jude Atupulazi reports.
The proposed protest is being led by a Petroleum Engineering graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), Imo State, who is a Keke driver in the state, Engr Chuks Chukwudindu.
His group is alleging that the state government configured its account App to five weeks a month, instead of four, thus compelling them to pay for five weeks in a month.
They stated that even when their vehicles would be in the mechanic, they would still be compelled to pay levies to government.
They reached the decision after their weekly meeting in Awka, the Anambra state capital.
According to them, the governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, had placed a heavy yoke of taxation on them amid their suffering.
One of the keke drivers, Chukwudindu, told journalists that the reason for their planned sit-at-home was to draw the attention of the public to what they were passing through in the hands of the Anambra State Government.
Chukwudindu said it was unfair for government to collect five weeks tax in a month from them instead of four weeks and said they would soon embark on an indefinite sit-at-home to protest multiple taxation by the state, which, he said, was stifling them and their families.
In his words, ‘The government has changed the long maxim that said, “four weeks make one month to five weeks make one month.
‘If you pay for one month and immediately it is four weeks, your payment expires and you pay for extra days in the month.
‘We were taught in school that four weeks make one month, but in Soludo’s interpretation, four weeks no longer make a month.’
According to him, they were supposed to pay N10, 000 every month and if one divided N10, 000 by four it gave N2, 500 per week.
‘But government said that it has configured its App to capture five weeks in a month. We are forced to pay for the remaining days.
‘We are considering to withdraw our services based on the harsh treatment the state government is forcing on us.’
Chukwudindu said Soludo had promised them that after the payment of N10,000 monthly, they would not pay any other levy, only for them to now being asked to pay another N4, 000 for emblem.
He said, ‘I pay every 4th day of the month and as I was going to pay on 4th August, they arrested me, saying that I was owing one week and that my payment had expired last week after four weeks.
‘That the configuration of government App captures five weeks in one month. I told them that I had not heard when government paid workers more in a month because the weeks were more.
‘Government should know that we are in the same country where things are hard. We buy fuel, feed our families, maintain our vehicles.’
Culled from Anambra People Magazine