In a bid to ramp up revenue generation in Lagos State, the government has said that an agreement called “Consolidated Informal Sector Transport Levy” with commercial bus operators has been reached for the collection of dues at various motor parks and garages in the state.
Dr. Rabiu Olowo, the state Commissioner for Finance who made this known on Tuesday said the levy pegged at a flat rate of N800, covers monies for the local government, clearing of waste from the motor parks, which was being paid to the Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA), and pollution, dues which were collected by Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), among others.
Personal income taxes of the drivers will also be deducted from the N800 levy which commences with immediate effect, according to the commissioner.
With this harmonised levy, each commercial bus driver is expected to pay N800 daily, which accumulates into N24,000 monthly and N292,000 in a year.
Though, the harmonised levy introduced by government does not affect tickets issued by the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), as reported by Daily Trust.
Explaining the new development, Alhaji Musiliu Akinsanya, Chairman of the Lagos State Chapter of (NURTW), popularly known as ‘MC Oluomo’, said the Union, in collaboration with the Road Transport Workers Union, (RTEAN), had approached the State Government to consolidate the fees collected by different LGAs and agencies to make collection easier for government.
He clarified that the new development affects only government levies but has nothing to do with the union dues charged.
Giving details of the move by the state government, Mr. Toyin Fayinka, Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, stated that the development is the phase one approach towards total restructuring of the transport sector; saying it is expected to bring sanity to motor parks in line with best practices globally.
Prior to this development, there have been debates on whose account the monies collected from these commercial drivers goes to but relevant authorities have been unable to provide answers.
The Finance Commissioner admitted that bulk of monies collected as levies before now are lost to unknown agents.
He disclosed that research has shown that an average commercial bus pays at least N3,000 as due per day while some buses pay as high as N8,000 to N9,000.
While he described the new development as a form of revenue assurance, he assured that it would have a strong implication on reduction of levies paid by bus drivers at different points/parks before now.
He also said that it will drastically reduce the suffering of the people as it is expected to reduce the cost of road transportation.