The divers appealed to the government to intervene.
Some Abuja commercial Taxi drivers on Thursday in Abuja complained over multiple levies imposed on them in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Some of the drivers, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria, expressed dissatisfaction with the multiple levies which, they claim, was badly affecting their businesses.
A taxi driver, Mohammed Umar, said the multiple levies were not making transportation business lucrative for him anymore.
“We register with almost N7, 000, buy union sticker for N3, 000 and pay daily AMAC and transport union levies but once you carry a passenger to another area council, you will be arrested.
“The council and union people in those area councils always impose other levies on us tasking us to register or pay again,’’ he said.
Condemning the multiple levies, another taxi driver, Saka Jimoh, said some drivers had resorted to refusing to convey passengers to other area councils because of the harassment and humiliation they faced.
“Some of us always refuse to take passengers from AMAC to other area councils not considering the urgency of the service,’’ he said.
Another taxi driver, Bernard Ene, said the daily N100 levy collected by AMAC and transport unions is supposed to permit the drivers to operate legally in all the area councils in Abuja.
“The issue of multiple levies, coupled with the embarrassment and humiliation faced by drivers in the hands of the officials and touts, has become too much for us to bear,’’ Mr. Ene said.
Ben Thompson, also a taxi driver, said most of the drivers bought the tickets and registered reluctantly or shyly to avoid problem and delay in their business.
“If the FCT Administration and transport union officials can resolve this issue of double payment, the commercial drivers will be glad,’’ he said.
However, the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) said the transport unions had not been collecting multiple levies from taxi drivers.
Lawrence Fadipe, Secretary of NURTW Mass Transit Nigeria Ltd., said any transport union ticket from AMAC was enough for a driver to operate in all the area councils.
Mr. Fadipe decried the multiple levies collection in the FCT and appealed to the FCTA to “look into the matter before it becomes too difficult to handle’’.
He also called for a unified levy process which would cover the drivers in all the six area councils and tasked the FCTA to address the issue early to prevent its degeneration into a problem.
“There is no need to charge a driver the same levy that he has paid in AMAC once he enters Gwagwalada, Bwari, Kuje, Abaji and Kwali area councils.
“If a driver pays in one area council in a day, it is enough for him to operate in all the other area councils instead of multiplying the taxes and subjecting drivers to unnecessary pain,’’ Fadipe said.
An AMAC official, who pleaded anonymity, explained that the levies being collected in the area councils are a source of revenue.