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By Amuda Dan Sulaiman FAB.
Traders who came to buy goods at the popular Kogi International Market, Lokoja, the commercial hub of the state on Saturday morning were subjected to a lot of difficulties conveying their goods to various parts of the city as over 1000 truck and wheelbarrow pushers in the market protest alleged imposition of taxes and levies by market officials.
The protest which lasted for over two hours, it was gathered, took the intervention of various stakeholders in the market that prevailed on members of the association to resume operation in order to alleviate their customers of the sufferings that they were passing through taking their goods outside the market as a result of the protest.
Some members of the association who spoke to this reporter at the market said that they took to the peaceful protest in order to register their displeasure over what they described as “imposition of taxes, levies and forceful wearing of an apron by the market authority” which they said that they were not consulted before its introduction.
Mr. Abdullahi Usman, spokesman of the truck pushers in the market told reporters that the protest was to register their displeasure that they were not comfortable with the orders of the market authorities.
According to Usman, truck pushers pay the sum of five hundred naira (N500) to the market authority while another member of the association, Emmanuel added that wheelbarrow pushers in the market also pay the sum of N400 daily to the market leadership that was not receipted for including the recent introduction of Apron and taxes which broke the camel’s back as the leadership of the market tried imposing it on them.
Moses John, a truck pusher, said: “the road is too bad and we struggle to carry people’s load even in its deplorable condition and yet the market authority still have the mind to impose levy on us, this is what I do to feed myself and my family and settle other bills even though I suffered severely to get up to two thousand naira each Market.”
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