…Says Use Of Touts As Revenue Collectors Unacceptable
Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly, on Monday, warned Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state to desist from extorting and harrassing courier and logistics services operators.
The lawmakers gave the warning after debating motion No. 31 moved by Hon. Temitope Adewale (Ifako Ijaiye 1) but presented on his behalf by Hon. Ganiyu Okanlawon ( Kosofe 1).
In the motion, the House resolved to call on the state government to direct the Commissioner for Transportation and other relevant agencies to ensure that operators of courier services and logistics are not harrassed by the local governments.
“The House call on Local Governments and LCDAs to desist from harrasing and extorting operators of courier and logistics services and restrain their traffic department from doing so.
“The Ministry of Information and Strategy should educate operators of Courier and Logistics Services and informed them about what is expected of them,” the House said.
It was added that the state Commissioner of Police should ensure that all extortionists in the state are apprehended.
In his presentation, Okanlawon stated that the laws and restriction orders on the ban of motorcycles in some areas in the state exempted the movement of motorcycles of courier and logistics services.
The lawmaker said that the motion concerned complaint by operators of courier and logistics services, adding that touts and local government staffers disturb their activities.
While commenting, Hon. Bisi Yusuff (Alimosho 1), said that the motion was timely, and that the use of task force to deal with operators of courier services was an embarrassment to the state government.
He said that some operators took some local governments to court on the issue in the past and won.
The Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, said that courier and logistics services help people in different areas to interact with their customers.
Agunbiade added that it is a way of boosting the economy of the state and empowerment for the people through employment.
“The motion did not say they should not be regulated. A courier service should not pay from one local government to the other or else it would defeat the purpose of their business.
“The revenue should be centralised among the local governments. The House once passed a law to regulate collection of fees by local governments. The law stated that whoever is collecting levies for the local governments must be identified,” he said.
Hon. Lukman Olumoh (Ajeromi/Ifelodun 1) said that some of the local governments officials issue out fake documents and that consultants should be employed for such activities.
Hon. Fatai Mojeed (Ibeju Lekki 1) stated that some of the riders of the bikes are graduates who have no jobs, and that there have been many cries on the harrasment of courier and logistics operators by local government officials.
Hon. Abiodun Tobun (Epe 1) said that the emergence of courier services led to the creation of jobs, but that some of the courier services organisations do not live up to expectations.
“Some local governments use consultants and we cannot stop them because of their excesses. We must not throw the local governments out totally as they have a role to play as an arm of government,” he said.
Also speaking, Hon. Lanre Afinni (Lagos Island 2) said that the collection of revenue for the local governments could be centralised and shared among them, adding that multiple taxation affect the profit of courier services companies.
Hon. Olayiwola Olawale (Mushin 2) said that the motion was okay as Lagos State is the commercial hub of Nigeria, but that the consultants of the local governments, the staff and party faithfuls benefit from it.
In his view, Hon. Moshood Oshun (Lagos Mainland 2), said that most of the local governments and LCDAs have traffic sections and that they charge a lot of money as fines, while stating that the traffic sections should be looked into as they go into the extreme to arrest and harrass people.
In his submission, the Speaker of the House, Rt. (Hon) Mudashiru Obasa, said that it was disappointing that Lagos State came third behind two northern states on ease of doing business, and that something must be done about it quickly.
Obasa lamented that it is common for local governments to harass and extort people on a daiy basis.
“The power of the local governments is limited to bicycle and some others in that category. They should not be disturbing a business that is reducing unemployment in the state. The services of courier companies reduce congestion and poverty in the state.
“Local governments have nothing to do with the registration of motorcycles and tricycles. Operators of courier and logistics services should not be made to pay in all the local governments considering what they charge for their services,” he said.
The Speaker added that local governments should be informed about their limitations on the collection of fees.