The Enugu State Government has called on residents to disregard the purported protest by some tipper drivers in Nsukka over the N1,000-per-trip-of-sand levy imposed by the state government.
Aka Eze Aka, the Commissioner for Information and Communications, made the call in a statement made available to journalists on Saturday in Enugu.
Tipper drivers on Thursday took to Nsukka streets in protest over the state government’s increase in the daily fees charged to them on each trip from N500 to N1,000.
Mr Aka said the government had confirmed that the purported protest was cooked up by unscrupulous elements who were in the habit of tarnishing the efforts of the government to make the state a preferred investment destination.
The commissioner, who described the protesters as fake tipper drivers, said the leadership of the Tipper Drivers and Owners Association of Nigeria (TDOAN), Enugu Chapter, was aware of the minor adjustment in the daily fees being paid by their members.
He explained that the little increase was part of the efforts of the current government to boost the revenue of the state.
He disclosed that TDOAN, through its leadership in the state, explained that there was no reason for any protest apart from the purpose of attempting to tarnish the image of the union.
Mr Aka said that in spite of the increment, Enugu still charges the lowest fee when compared to neighbouring Ebonyi and Anambra States, which charge N8,000 and N3,500, respectively.
“The group warned miscreants being used by opposition politicians to destabilise the peace, which Enugu State Governor, Dr. Peter Mbah, has brought, to desist from it.
“They equally restated their resolve to align themselves to the policies of the Mbah-led administration and its developmental trajectories,” Mr Aka quoted the TDOAN leadership as saying.
He said Nsukka Local Government Council Chairman, Walter Ozioko, while corroborating with the tippers union, said the security information at his disposal showed that the protesters were impostors.
He said that Mr Ozioko absolved the government of any wrongdoing, saying the increase was done by the state economic planning commission in line with economic realities.