Dispatch riders and logistic operators in Lagos State on Monday protested against what they described as multiple taxation and extortion by the state and federal governments and their agents.
PUNCH Metro gathered that dispatch riders, aside from the permits issued by the Lagos State Government, were mandated to pay to operate in other states.
Speaking to our correspondent at the Lagos State House of Assembly where the protesters converged, a lady, who claimed to be an operator with five bikes, said the total cost of documentation annually cost about N400,000.
She said, “We are not running an illegal business. We sweat for our money to feed our families. The government should help us appeal to these agencies to allow us to breathe and work as normal Lagos residents.
“A rider is supposed to have a regular rider’s card to work. But right now, Ogun State has also warned that we need to get their state’s rider’s card to cross their boundary.
“FRSC has also introduced a Class A licence card for riders; but will a motorist who drives to Sokoto be asked to obtain another driving licence? While in the midst of the development, NIPOST has also come up with theirs. How is this possible for one bike with four rider’s cards?
“Ogun State says OCSA, Lagos State says LASA, how can a rider own two separate documents serving the same purpose? This is double taxation. As operators, we struggle to pay the riders, let alone save for ourselves.
“There are few testing centres and riders spend two whole days to get bike tested. How can someone invest over N4m in dispatch business and can’t boast of saving N100,000 after a year?”
A dispatch rider, Sunday Timothy, who claimed to have been in the business for over five years, also lamented the high cost of documentation.
He said, “Our operation used to be smooth and without disturbance. Suddenly, NIPOST came up with their rider’s card which costs N10,000; MOT came with theirs for N10,000, and FRSC also came up with theirs, which costs N14,000. These fees are too much compared to what we earn. The government has not been fair to us and we are tired of the extortion and double taxation.”