Edo state government Thursday announced it would henceforth collect all forms of levies and rates in all motor parks across the state.
The decision in effect means that transport unions cannot collect such levies any longer.
The ban was sequel to bloody clashes between two commercial transport unions, namely the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and Drivers’ Welfare Association.
The warring transport owners’ unions began hostilities on Monday following the approval of a Benin-based revenue collector, Akugbe Ventures, to collect levies and rates from commercial transporters in the state.
This, however, did not go down well with one of the transport unions and it resulted in hostilities which began from Monday till Wednesday. Over twenty persons sustained injuries after they were attacked with machete and other dangerous weapons.
The development has also led to several protests by commercial vehicles operators in the Benin metropolis.
A statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Julius Ihonvbere, warned that anybody or group that acts in any guise in breach of the directive would be prosecuted and appropriately sanctioned.
Ihonvbere added that the directive affects collection by Road Transports Workers’ Union, Road Transport Employers’ Association, and other collectors in the transport sector.
“It is hereby announced for the information of the general public that the Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole has banned the collection of levies and rates from commercial motor drivers, commercial motor bike riders and tricycle operators with immediate effect, pending the streamlining of the collections in the sector.
“I am to emphasise that anybody or group that acts in any guise in breach of this directive will be prosecuted and appropriately sanctioned within the provisions of the law,” the statement said.
The government appealed to all law enforcement agencies to do everything possible to ensure that all the affected revenue collectors complied with the directive.
Governor Oshiomhole had last year banned the collection of levies and rates in three councils that comprise the Benin metropolis by revenue collectors due to violent protests between the transport owners’ groups.