Following the peace moves by the leadership of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), the Edo State Government says it still recognises only two unions in the transport sector,
which are the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), urging them to go about their activities peacefully with the primary objective of their members’ welfare and job creation.
The State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, disclosed this while briefing journalists after presiding over the meeting of the state’s Revenue Committee on Local Government Councils’ Uniform and Harmonised Levies, Fees, Rates and Charges, saying that government is mindful of the rights of its people to the freedom of association.
Comrade Shaibu explained that the government introduced the harmonised levies and streamlined the unions in accordance with the plan of the administration to give Edo a modern city status and boost the revenue base of the councils.
He called on commercial drivers in the state not to allow themselves to be used to foment trouble as government remains committed to maintaining peace and order in the state, warning that government will not hesitate to ban any of the union whose members’ activities constitute threats to peace and order in the state.
He advised drivers to liaise with their union leaders on any issue as unionism remains a right to freedom of association and guarantees welfare of members, saying, “I don’t think it will be in their interest if any of the union is proscribed by government, which means they will not have any union to cater for their welfare or speak for them”.
Comrade Shaibu explained that the idea of the new tax regime was as a result of the inability of the local government to meet up with their statutory obligations to the people.
“Mr Governor in his wisdom decided that it was time to upgrade the local government to have strong revenue base driven by modern techniques without molesting the people. We want them to be very lucrative to the extent that these local governments can pay their workers’ wages, execute some developmental projects without necessarily waiting on us,” he said
On the issue of Keke NAPEP and bike riders, the Deputy Governor said the Ministry of Justice was working on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will outline guidelines and mode of their operations, adding that the document would be ready within the next two weeks.