Truck Drivers Block Onitsha-Owerri, Onitsha-Awka Expressway over Taxation

Articulated truck and lorry drivers on Friday morning, December 9, blocked the expressway leading from Onitsha to Owerri, through the Niger Bridge to Asaba and Onitsha to Enugu, causing heavy gridlock in the commercial city.

It was gathered that this was because of the heavy tax imposed on them by the Soludo Administration in Anambra State.

It was learnt that the Soludo-led Administration had recently announced a levy of N30, 000 for trailers loading and offloading goods in Anambra State.

Other categories of vehicles affected are lorries and trucks which have their own amount, ranging from N25, 000 and N200, 000 respectively, for ten and six tyres lorries and trucks.

A driver, Mr Odion Omoroge, who spoke to journalists, said he drove all through the night from Abuja to Onitsha and was heading to Benin.

He said Onitsha was the only city where he was usually harassed by touts disguising as government officials, just to extort money from him.

‘The problem with this government as I observe is that it believes that money collected from the people as levy and tax and other revenues are the only money that it will use to work for the people.

‘It is not talking about money from the government, and one begins to wonder if Anambra State is not getting any allocation from the Federal Government.

‘What we see anytime we are coming into the state is terrible. I’m afraid that one day there may be a bloody revolution by the people against this government because everything it is doing is at the extreme.

‘Touts are everywhere in Onitsha violently collecting money from people, even men and women in uniforms are violently stopping motorists on the roads, accusing them of one false traffic offence or the other and violently collecting their car and vehicles keys,’ he complained.

It was however later learnt that normalcy had returned to the area after the truck drivers were convinced to leave the road.

However, the roads in Onitsha were still blocked due to the heavy traffic. As at the time of filing this report, traffic agents were battling to clear the roads.