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Friday, August 16, 2019

Rt. Hon. David Lawrence

Determined to offer effective representation, the Member Representing Eket State Constituency, Rt. Hon. David Lawrence has advised stakeholders in the Transport sector to be cautious of double taxation on Tricycle Operators in the State

Mr. David Lawrence who is the Chairman, House of Assembly Committee on Works And Transport gave the charge yesterday  in Uyo during a joint stakeholders engagement meeting with his committee as well as members of Tricycle Operators Association.

The lawmaker urged relevant stakeholders in the transport sector to synergize for a smooth implementation process to salvage the anomalies observed in the sector. 

The works and Transport Committee Chairman noted that the State Government's prime essence of introducing tricycle in the State  was to help ameliorate poverty and to improve revenue generation. He expressed displeasure over alleged excessive and multiple levies on Tricycle operators, while assuring them that, with the collaboration of relevant stakeholders in the transport sector, a more harmonize synergy and minimal levie is possible.

The lawmaker charged the Board of  Internal Revenue Services, Vehicle Inspection, FRSC, and the management of the Ministry of Transport who are stakeholders in the sector to partner and as well set up a comprehensive database for all Tricycle operators in the State to enable proper implementation and revenue generation for the development of the State.

Chairman of Tricycle operators Association, Comrade Effiong Effiong, who spoke elaborately on behalf of his members during the joint stakeholders engagement meeting revealed that his members during the immediate past commissioner for Transport, Mr. Orman Esin, used to pay approximately Eighty Five - Ninety Thousand Naira per annum as Levy per tricycle operator for ticketing, licencing, road worthiness registration and renewals.

Comrade Effiong who frowned at the outrageous levies on each tricycle (Keke) operator, observed that it is only in Akwa Ibom State that Keke Operators are demanded to operate with drivers licence.  He however appealed to the state government for prompt intervention for a significant deduction in MOT, licencing,  registration and renewal. 

The Executive Chairman, IRS, Mr. Okon Okon in his submission appreciated the Chairman of the committee for the opportunity to engage and proffer  solution to issues affecting  transport Sector. 

Mr. Okon while assuring that the bottom line of the joint stakeholders engagement meeting will enable  a round table platform to discuss and come out with solution to the challenges went on and explained that Licencing of vehicle is a world class standard, stressing that the cost of production of licences by FRSC determines how much is paid. 

Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekpeyong, Chief Whip, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Uko (Ibesikpo Asutan), Rt. Hon. Effiong Bassey (Oron/Udung-Uko), Hon. Ifiok O. S (Nsit Ibom), Hon. Uyime Ekwere (Mkpat Enin),  Hon. Godwin Ekpo (Ibiono Ibom) and Mrs. Uduak Okon, clerk of the committee who are all members of Works and Transport committee attended the joint stakeholders engagement meeting. 

It can be recall that the Akwa Ibom State Tricycle operators Association led by their Chairman, Comrade Effiong Effiong, in a petition before the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Committee on Works  and Transport, had accused the board and management of IRS, VIO, Ministry Of Transport and FRSC of conniving  to exploit its members through double ticketing and excessive levies.

Also Speaking at the joint meeting, the Akwa Ibom State Vehicle Inspection Officer, VIO, in his submission faulted FRSC for issuing drivers license to Tricycle operators without identification of category and  class. He observed that the categories and class of licences issued to Tricycle operators does not reflect professionalism.

"licences issued by FRSC to Tricycle operators does not reflect in the constitution; Unless there is a review of the law which will give room for a particular category or class of driver license for Tricycle operators, it is pertinent to note that the said License be replaced with a riders permit which should be coordinated, issued and supervised by the State Government". 

The meeting had in attendance Chairman and  management of Board of  Internal Revenue, Dr. Ekere Afia, ED. Planning and Research, Barr. Inyene Bassey, legal adviser, Mr. Kufre Ibokete, Hon. Effiong Effiong, Chairman, Tricycle Operators Association, Mr.Joseph Akpanobong among others.

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