The Painted Abuja Taxi (PAT) has lamented the multiple levies imposed on drivers in the Federal Capital Territory, saying commercial drivers are not finding it easy paying the unwarranted  levies.

Speaking with Oduduwa Watch, the President of the association,  Comrade Shehu Shuagaba condemned in strong term the illegal extortion of its members over multiple levies, saying every local government within the FCT want Taxi Operators to register with them which automatically resulted into double payment. 

He said All Local Government Papers was introduced to checkmate double revenue collection which ought to cover the 774 local governments of the federation, yet each local government still requested for revenue not minding the All Local Government Papers arrangement.

"The boys employed by the Consultant collecting this money are harassing and intimidating our members, whereas the law stipulated the body that has right to collect this levies".

According to him, '' We have reported this prevailing challenges to recognise regulator but nothing has been done; we are looking at the possibility of taking legal action against the local governments, so as to resolve the matters once as for all".

He frowned at the restrictions by the government and management of estate in the Federal Territory Capital, saying it has adverse effects on their operation. "We are restricted to certain areas, we can't operate in the estate and government too is not helping matters as there is a limit to where we can operate".

He said despite being regulated by the authority of the FCT, paying require dues and obey instructions given to them, Taxi Operators are not allow to come near federal Ministry vicinity. 

" They asked us to paint our vehicles for documentation and proper recognition to prevent criminality, we did, yet painted taxis have no access to Ministry and Estate".

Comrade Shuagaba said if the FCT Administration can resolve the issue of double payment, the commercial drivers will be glad. 

He called for a unified levy process which would cover the drivers in all the six area councils, tasking the FCTA to quickly find a lasting solutions to multiple levies. 

Meanwhile, the President disclosed that the N10 billion Federal Government released to transporters through the Federal Ministry of Investment is yet to be disbursed despite the government directive to that effect. 

He pleaded with the authority in charge of the fund to do the needful as all efforts to get the money has proved abortive.

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