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Transporters plan 500% fares hike over multiple taxation in Nigeria

Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, Minister for Transportation

*Unlawful charges particularly in Lagos, Abia, Rivers, Imo, Enugu, Kaduna, Delta, and Abuja Municipal Area Council affect transporters ability to remain in business, says APTCON Spokesperson

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

While alleging the government policy on taxation is making it impossible for transporters to operate profitably in the country, the Association of Private Transport Company Owners of Nigeria (APTCON) has said it may be forced to hike transport fares by as much as 500% in the coming weeks over multiple taxes.

Members of the association unanimously agreed to the plan at a recent meeting of the association, reports The Guardian.

Audu Gaddo, Spokesperson of APTCON, stated that the government is making it impossible for transporters to operate successfully across the country.

The transporters purported that besides numerous issues affecting the important sector, such as high exchange rates, high interest on bank loans, etc., multiple taxations remain one of its toughest challenges, according to Gaddo.

Report stated Audu mentioned that one of their member organisations just received a demand notice of close to N7 million from an unnamed local government in Nigeria.

The Spokesperson stressed that the unlawful charges, which are predominant across the country, particularly in places such as Lagos, Abia, Rivers, Imo, Enugu, Kaduna, Delta and the Abuja Municipal Area Council, affect transporters ability to remain in business, leaving them with no option than to consider fares increase.

“Transport companies are always being exploited by the government especially at the state and local government levels,” a member of the association told journalists after the meeting.

“In just 2 months, I have paid close to N10 million in taxes for just 3 of the 8 locations I operate from. How much are we making from this business especially with this new law about social distancing in buses, which requires us to carry a maximum of 7 passengers in a 14-seater bus and 28 passengers in a 50-seater bus?

“Government is quick to charge and enforce unlawful taxes and but do not give us any support whatsoever. How do we survive?”

Audu advised the government to put the interest of its citizens first by addressing some of the other issues plaguing the Nigerian transport industry which include bad roads, unwarranted harassment of passengers by law enforcement officers, and insecurity instead of focusing purely on financial gains.

Gaddo, however, appealed to the Nigerian Government to take strategic steps towards ending the exploitation of transporters in order to avoid making innocent commuters suffer needlessly.

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