Hear me out, MC Oluomo’s money stays intact | See what happens next

Marketing teams in Lagos may want to learn a couple skills from agberos, only that they will not sell if they introduce aggressiveness and disrespect into the mix. Agberos have daily targets they must meet and these targets generate an estimated annual revenue of ₦123.078 billion for the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), collected from daily road use taxes levied on bus drivers, tricycle riders and motorcycle operators in the state, according to a report by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR). This excludes taxis, tankers and trailers as there are no informed data on these categories.

Each danfo driver pays at least ₦3,000 as ticket fee, and there are an estimated 75,000 commercial buses operating in Lagos, according to the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA). So, estimated daily total collection is ₦225 million, and estimated monthly total collection ₦6.75 billion. While the estimated yearly total collection is ₦82.125 billion.

I don’t know exactly how much all of us make in Lagos, but I go home with ₦6000 to ₦8000 every day,” an agbero, operating in Ikorodu, said, according to ICIR. Another agbero operating in Ojodu LCDA said he often went home with around ₦4500 to ₦6000 each day. “But our chairmen (team leads) go home with up to ₦10,000 to ₦15,000 every day,” he added.

Read also: ASUU in the news again – or in the mud?

The ₦123.078 billion generated by agberos each year amounts to 29.4 percent of Lagos’ Internally
Generated Revenue (IGR) of ₦418.99 billion in 2020. In 2021, the state made an average of ₦45 billion monthly, a shortfall of a ₦15 billion monthly target. That is an estimated ₦540 billion.

The Lagos Government has said that danfo, taxi, and other commercial vehicles in the state will begin to pay ₦800 levy daily from February 1, 2022.

This is after the government and transportation stakeholders in the State Tuesday, signed an agreement and officially unveiled the ‘Consolidated Informal Transport Sector Levy’ to harmonise dues collected by the government from commercial motorists at parks and garages across the State.

The agreement between the state, local government, and various unions in the transport sector, as well as some government agencies in Lagos, was signed during a ceremony held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja, according to a statement.

Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, was quoted as explaining that the levy pegged at a flat rate of ₦800 covers money for not just the local government levy alone, but also that of clearing waste from motor parks paid to the Ministry of Transportation, Lagos State Waste Management Authority and Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency.

Rabiu said the benefits of the levy included harmonising the collection process by putting a structure in place, reducing multiple taxes, dues, and levies to all agents of state and local governments, providing reliable data, eradicating harassment of bus drivers, and bringing collaborative engagements within stakeholders, among others.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Lago chapter of the NURTW, Alhaji Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly known as ‘MC Oluomo’ explained that the Union, in collaboration with the Road Transport Workers Union, had approached the government to consolidate the fees to make it easier for the government.

MC Oluomo - agberos

The harmonised levy will not affect the national union ticket. What it is aimed at consolidating are all the levies collected by the government and it was the unions that approached the government to help us harmonise the payment of all the levies it has been collecting to prevent duplication of levies,” he said.

If you think this means that levies collected from danfos by agberos for the union will reduce, then you are probably mistaken. As this will only add to the aggression and increase the taxes.

In Lagos, agberos are non-state actors, but they are recognised by the state government. They belong to the
powerful National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW). So, when they begin to shout ‘Owo ti pọ si‘, do not leave your mouth aghast as diseased flies will enter.

These agberos are already a menace, largely because they have to meet their daily target or be dealt with – sometimes sacked from their ‘jobs’. They have personal commitments and there are no indications that they collect salaries. It is therefore a case of collecting monies to be paid in the coffers of the NURTW and their personal wallets.

This means that the traffic situation may become worse, knowing that many danfo drivers fly with the same feathers as agberos, and may want to struggle before they come to an agreement. In this case, you will seeing a lot of vehicle destruction and physical fights.

It also means that fares may increase. I mean, rain, traffic, fuel increase, road diversion causes fares to increase. How will this not? If you have been paying 100 naira from Ketu to Ojota, prepare for an increase.

Unfortunately, this may also mean job openings for kids who are now the majority among the agberos – as NURTW will need more hands. These street kids usually opportunities working for NURTW. They argue that they are free to do whatever they like, sleep wherever, and go home with some money every day.

The argument has started on social media on how this will affect the already bad living conditions on Twitter, and we think, while this is some sort of structure for the transport sector in the state, the trickle down effects are not what Lagos residents need right now.

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