From Osakhare Erese Asaba
Protest over alleged imposed levies on Speed Boat Owners in Burutu community in Delta state by the state government, on Wednesday paralyzed business and vehicular movements in the area.
The protesters, made up of boat owners, and drivers, prevented boats from plying the riverine areas of the state as they displayed broken woods, among others.
But the leader of the protesters, Samson Timbowei who spoke to our reporter said, “the levy on Speed boats was too much for us,we can’t pay N500,00 for every day ticket, while each boat is to pay with force, N20,000 per annum,we will not accept this from this government, is too much for us pls,hence we are protesting please.”
Timbowei said that the consultant to the state government had allegedly threatened force to collect revenue from the boat owners, adding that his alleged threat, among others triggered the protest He said, “ most of us had our engine covers seized by the consultant agents, the levies imposed on us, we can’t pay, we are not making so much money as they think, we take the risk all the time “But one of the agents, Vincent Commissioner, told our reporter that, “we are acting on the directive of the state government in the collection of revenue from speed boat owners and drivers, the protesters attacked us, we will do our Job, they must pay the levies imposed on them”
He maintained that they had seized the engine covers of those who failed to pay, adding that they will continue to collect revenue from the protesters unless a directive from the Commissioner for Transport, Mr,Vincent Uduaghan
In a reaction, The state Commissioner for Transport, Mr,Vincent Uduaghan said the state Governor, Dr,Ifeanyi Okowa had ordered the suspension in the payment of levies by boat owners and drivers for peace to reign, disclosing that a review would be constituted soon Addressing the protesters, Mr,Daniel Yingi representing Burutu constituency at the state House of Assembly, however, appealed to them not take laws into their hands as the state government had listening ears.