Protest over alleged imposition of levies on Speed Boat Owners in Burutu community in Delta State by the state government on Wednesday paralysed business and vehicular movements.
The protesters, made up of boat owners, and drivers, prevented boats from plying the riverine areas of the state.
Leader of the protesters, Samson Timbowei, who spoke to this reporter said that “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, N20,000 per annum, we will not accept this from this government, is too much for us hence we are protesting.”
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, said 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 siezed the engine covers of those who failed to pay, adding that they will continue to collect revenue from the protesters unless a reversal directive from the Commissioner for Transport, Mr Vincent Uduaghan.
In a reaction Mr Uduaghan, said Governor 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 the protesters not take laws into their hands as the state government had listening ears