Tipper Drivers To Block Onitsha-Enugu Highway Over Forceful Taxation By Onitsha-South TC Chairman 

By Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Tipper Drivers in Anambra State are set for a total showdown over what they described as terror and mayhem unleashed on them by the Onitsha-South Transition Committee Chairman Mr. Emeka Orji.
The Tipper Drivers under the auspices of Great Tipper Drivers Association of Nigeria have concluded plans to block the Onitsha axis of the federal highway on Tuesday 6th February, 2024 to protest what they termed forceful taxation by the Onitsha-South TC Chairman.
President of the association, Comrade Chukwuebuka Unekwe, who spoke to NewsProbe in Onitsha about the planned protest, complained that the Onitsha-South TC Chairman has always boasted that he has unlimited powers because Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo is his brother and there is absolutely nothing anyone can do about it.
Unekwe, who stated that tipper drivers were doing a lot to help the governor generate IGR from sand mining in the area, lamented that the plight of tipper drivers were too pathetic because of the troubles they encountered in the hands of TC Chairmen.
Unekwe said that the issue at hand was that Onitsha-South TC Chairman mobilised thugs to collect N2000 levy from tipper drivers on every trip. That the council authority said the N2000 was road maintenance levy. He therefore sought for state government intervention in the matter, stressing that tipper drivers can not pay IGR to the state government and still pay another revenue to Onitsha-South local government.
The President of the tipper drivers maintained that if the state government was not forthcoming, they would block the federal highway on Tuesday this week and there will be no vehicular movements in Onitsha.
He said, “We are going to use our tippers to block everywhere in Onitsha on Tuesday this week. So we are calling on Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo to listen to our cry because we know he is a very peaceful man.
“We are calling him to help us in this issue because he didn’t help us, we will react.”
Unekwe further disclosed that the Onitsha-South TC Chairman mobilised over 50 touts around 2am Sunday morning to forcefully collect the N2000 road maintenance levy from tipper drivers on each trip of sand. That when he called the TC Chairman on phone to complain, the TC Chairman told him categorically that he has right to intimidate anybody in the state because the governor is his brother.
The tipper drivers helmsman told our reporter that they paid road users tolls to the Anambra State Government. He said big tippers paid N3000 while small tippers paid N1000 each to the state government. But according to him, the Onitsha-South local government chairman is requesting that big tippers pay him N2000 while small tippers pay him N1000 on each trip of sand, if not, they should vacate Onitsha-South local government.
Unekwe was worried that the era of multiple taxations have returned in Anambra State in spite of Governor Soludo’s efforts to stamp it out completely. He said tipper drivers paid IGR levies directly to the state government and the money Onitsha-South TC Chairman is requesting from them is what they can’t comprehend.
“If you go 10 trips, you pay the Onitsha-South TC Chairman N2000, 10 times. You pay for each trip of sand. He said the N2000 levy is road maintenance levy in Onitsha-South Local Government.”
Unekwe also pointed out that the Chairman Anambra State Board of Internal Revenue had told the Onitsha-South TC Chairman that he does not have any right whatsoever to impose revenue on tipper drivers. That tipper drivers are paying directly to the state government.
Despite the clarifications, Unekwe said that the Onitsha-South TC Chairman insisted that the Chairman of the State Internal Revenue Service will not teach him his job and that he has right to do whatever he likes in his territory. He said they have enough evidence against the Onitsha-South TC Chairman.
When contacted for his response on allegations of forceful taxations imposed on tipper drivers by him, the Onitsha-South TC Chairman told our reporter to come to his office for a detailed interview on the subject matter as he can not grant him a phone interview.

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