Commercial drivers in Anambra State under the banner of the Main Market Electrical Drivers Welfare Association- MEDWAS, had yesterday, embarked on a peaceful protest over Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s proposed new tax of N25,000 per month
The demonstration exercise was kicked off by the drivers as soon as the MEDWAS chairman, Mr. Michael Mbele broke the news to them and confirmed that arrangements had been made to start enforcing the payment after a meeting with a team of the state government officials from Awka.
According to Mr. Mbele, “I did not issue the directive in my capacity, I only passed on the information handed down to me by a team of state government officials after talks were held on the new proposed tax rate.”
Meanwhile, the drivers didn’t take the development kindly and they took to the streets, demanding clarification from Governor Soludo, who had temporarily halted the payment of any form of tax and levy until he recently announced the introduction of a digitalized payment system, which according to a spokesman of the protesting drivers, Mr. Magnus Dike directed them to pay N4,000 monthly to a private firm set up by the state government to collect tax on its behalf.
“When Soludo came into power, he warned us to stop paying taxes or levies to anybody and also told us that a new tax rate of N4,000 every month under a new digitalized payment scheme, which we all agreed to but we were shocked when our chairman told us that, henceforth, we would now be paying N25,000 a month.”
“Most of us don’t own the vehicles, we operate on a hire purchase scheme. How then can we pay the owners, and fend for our families? Please we call Soludo’s attention to our plight, we want to know if this new directive is from him through a reliable channel of communication like the newspaper or radio,” Dike further added.