Diary of a Lagos Commuter: Tricycle Drivers “Pay Tax”
I boarded a tricycle from Oke-ira axis in Ogba Lagos. It turned out to be a charter because I was the only passenger in it, save that I didn’t have to pay more than the usual fare. The tricycle had a stop at one of the bus-stops in order to get change from one of the local government official who is stationed there to give tickets and receive dues from tricycle drivers/owners. I noticed the tone at which this driver spoke to the ‘official’. Although he spoke in igbo dialect, I could decode what he was angry about. As we continued our trip, I engaged him in a conversation.
Me: Do you people pay tax?
Driver: to Govt?… Yes now. Through our dues. We pay 1500 naira per day
Me: whao! That’s a lot…
Driver: that’s what I was complaining to the guy the other time. Because of 200 naira, you can wait two hours before you load a trip and it’s not sure you are going to get passenger on your way back… It’s like you are just working for them. In some other parks, if you take your keke there, they would tell you there is no space but here (referring to the park where you find Keke to Oke-ira). They keep accommodating people no matter how many keke you bring. A park where even kekes are more than the passengers.
Me: (Sigh, I was short of words).
I just got down and thanked him.
Are dues equivalent of tax? If so, what do you think about this driver’s tax bill?