• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Anambra transporters offered health insurance following ban on touts, unions from parks

The need to scale Nigeria’s motor park logistics

Transporters in Anambra state are to benefit from health insurance, following the announcement of a ban by the state government on a tricycle (Keke) and shuttle bus unions in the state. Touts (Agbero) were also sacked from motor parks in the state, as contained in a public notice signed by Paul Nwosu, the state’s Commissioner for Information.

The revenues previously paid to the ‘touts’ and unions, which are now to be channelled to the government, will see transporters getting health insurance as part of benefits. In the announcement, the state government asked all the sacked motor park touts to proceed and register in their local government areas for government-sponsored training and life-supporting skills.

“Security reports indicated that those masquerading under different names as a tricycle (Keke) and shuttle bus unions were orchestrating the breakdown of law and order in the state

“There were also conflicts arising from various persons and entities claiming to be the appropriate authority to unionize tricycle and shuttle bus operators or owners who had openly rejected these claims and insisted that the unions were not working for them,” read part of the announcement.

In the light of the above and in order to forestall the breakdown of law and order, the state government said it was suspending all tricycle and shuttle bus unions in the State with immediate effect for six months, pending further investigations and a possible harmonization of the unions which shall have a leadership known to, and recognized by, the State Government.

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The state government also unveiled an arrangement that would see it collect weekly or monthly fees from transporters (instead of it being paid to the erstwhile unions). In exchange for this, transporters are to get what it calls ‘fringe benefits’, notably health insurance.

“Loading and offloading in Government (public) parks will now be free. Moving forward, every compliant commercial vehicle driver will get a free Health Insurance cover that would enable the insured have access to basic health and emergency services in any Anambra State hospital,” the statement read. “Government wishes to reiterate its ban on touts (agbero) and cult groups that are used to enforce illegal collection of tolls and taxes. Only government accredited agents are entitled to collect tolls. Alternatively, the commercial vehicle operator could go and pay at any of the banks or any Anambra State Internal Revenue Service (AIRS) pay-point nearest to him.”

The notice indicated that tricycle operators now have the option of paying N4,000 weekly or N15,000 monthly. However, tricycle operators in the 8 Local Government Areas that are affected by curfew will pay N3000 weekly or N12,000 monthly. They are to revert to the normal rates of N4,000 weekly or N15,000 monthly as soon as the curfew is lifted. Shuttle bus operators will pay N 5,000 weekly or N20,000 monthly.

Due to the ongoing ASUU strike that resulted in the closure of universities, NANS shuttle buses are to pay N2,500 weekly or N10,000 monthly. This group will also revert to the normal rates of N5,000 weekly or N20,000 monthly as soon as the strike is called off.

Taxis are to pay N4,375 weekly or N17,500 monthly. Township bus will pay N5, 000 weekly or N20,000 monthly. Mini truck and Pick up will pay N5,000 weekly or N20,000 monthly respectively. Intra-state will pay N6,250 weekly or N25,000 monthly.

The statement further enjoined operators and members of the public to report the activities of ‘agberos’ to designated telephone numbers. The government offered to train the disbanded ‘motor park touts’ on life-supporting skills or find them other means of livelihood that would enable them live a decent life.