Residents of Port Harcourt, the river state capital were yesterday subjected to harrowing times following the strike embarked upon by Keke, Tax and bus drivers in protest over what they termed undue exploitation by the National Union of Road transport Workers (NURTW) in the state.
Commuters were forced to trek to their various designators as major streets and roads were deserted by transporters who were protesting multiple charges and levies by the transport union in the state.
Major roads in Trans-Amadi, Woji community, Aba Road and other area were affected by the action of the Keke and bus driver as many communities were seen trekking to various destinations to accomplish transaction of the day.
One of the leaders of the protesters, Comrade Victor Ukaigwe who spoke on the development expressed dismay over the multiple taxies and levies imposed on them by the unions.
Victor said despite the order by the state government for them to pay a specific amount as tax to the government, the union members have continued to levy all manner of charges on them.
He lamented that some buses and Keke pay as much as N500 – N1500 daily to unions, policemen and community charges.
One of the drivers who gave his name as Chinwendy complained that both the policemen and union have turned the drivers into milky cows to give them money daily including Saturdays and Sunday.
Akpan Ukoh, a Keke driver lamented the intimidation and harassment the drives face in the hands of the police, the state task force and the motor union, stressing that they were usually left with nothing to account for at the end of work.
They appealed for the intervention of the state government on the matter, as according to him, they will prefer any arrangement by the government to harmonize what should be paid as taxes and levies in the state.
The Rivers State Internal Revenue Service (RIRS) had last week rolled out the harmonized taxes which the authority state will henceforth be collected directly by its staff and no longer by the transport unions.