Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Stakeholders applaud Works Commissioner on peaceful Disposition

Transport Stakeholders in Akwa Ibom  State has applauded the Commissioner for Works, Mr Ephraim Inyang-Eyen and his Permanent Secretary, Dr Ifreke Ekpa, for ensuring that peace return to the State Road Levies Implementation Scheme through dialogue and peaceful settlement over minor discrepancies between the Ministry and the Scheme.

In separate interactions with  journalists in Uyo recently the State leadership of various Transporters union comprising National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Akwa Ibom Transport Company Lease Vehicle Operators, (AKTCLVO), Tipper Drivers, Owners, Loaders and Sand Dealers Association (TPOLSDA), Earth Moving Equipment, Double Axle, Truck Owners /Operators Association (EMEDATOA), National Union of Petroleum Employee of Nigeria (NUPENG), Foodstuff Dealers Association, among others, stated that the peaceful resolution of the seeming imbroglio will further enhance good working relationship with the transporters.  
The stakeholders while acknowledging efforts made by the royal fathers led by Edidem Edem Silas; the Uyo Political Leader, Sir Val Attah and other distinguished personalities in ensuring non-violent resolution of the impasse, were full of praises to the Works Commissioner, Mr Ephraim Inyang who has not jettison or  cast aspersion on the prominent reconciliation Advisors stressing that the current peace enjoyed by transporters through the scheme had proved that Gov. Udom Emmanuel was running a listening administration  and has restored hope to the common man in the street. 

According to them, the Road Tax as provided for in the schedule of Taxes and Levies (Approved list for collection) ACT, CAP T2, Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004, has strengthened and harmonized the state’s taxes and levies through the establishment of the State Road Levies Implementation Scheme under the supervision of Ministries of Works and Transport.

The stakeholders said the Scheme’s office located within the Ministry of Works premises along Wellington Bassey Way, Uyo was shouldered with the responsibility of collecting levies from members and other motorists in the state have been able to curb the incessancy that characterized the irresponsible multiple taxes from other states noting that the scheme’s inability to issue the 2015 emblems and stickers at lower rates to their members and other motorists in the state had exposed them and others to various manners of taxes and extortion by other states where they drove across.

Speaking further, the State Chairman, Earth Moving Equipment, Double Axle, Truck Owners /Operators Association (EMEDATOA), Comrade Ita Offiong who eulogized Mr. Ephraim Inyang’s leadership proficiency, supported his claims with official payment receipts of One Hundred and Twenty Thousand Naira ( N120, 000.00), One Hundred and Thirty Thousand Naira (N130,00.00) to Abia  and Benue States government (MOW/MOT) Road Taxes Schemes respectively, said that his members plying other states across the federation were constantly harassed, manhandled and forced to pay huge amount ranging from Seventy Thousand Naira (N 70,000.00) to One Hundred and Eighty Thousand Naira (N180,000.00) against the Akwa Ibom State Scheme’s emblems and stickers which were sold at a measly Twelve Thousand Naira (N12,000.00) and Eighteen Thousand Naira (N18,000.00) respectively, depending on the categories of vehicles.

Corroborating Comrade Offiong’s assertions, the National Chairman, Tipper Drivers, Owners, Loaders and Sand Dealers Association (TPOLSDA), Pastor Godwin Utin who also buttressed his statements with Adamawa (MOW), Taraba (MOW) and Bayelsa (MOW/MOT) States government’s Road taxes official receipts of One Hundred and Eighty Thousand Naira (N180.000.00), One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N150,000.00) and One Hundred and Sixty Thousand Naira (N160, 000.00), respectively, stated that with the peaceful resolution of the alleged misunderstanding, his members plying others states will no longer be exploited as approved payment for weight and measurement of tippers as well as Road Rehabilitation and City Permit Levies will now be paid to the Akwa Ibom State government coffers through the State Road Levies Implementation Scheme.

The unionists vowed to support Gov. Udom’s policies and programmes reiterating the commitment of Transporters to the current Dakkada Philosophy, emphasizing that the quality of work done especially on the on-going urbanization and other road construction projects across the state.

The Transporters urged the Works Commissioner, Mr. Ephraim Inyang-Eyen to disregard media publications vis-à-vis the gridlock as circumstances leading to the said news stories is now a forgone issue.

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