Barrring any possible last minute reversal due to public outcry, travellers boarding commercial vehicles from any park within Ondo state will as from Monday pay a tax of N100.
Already collectors have been deployed to the various parks to start implementing the new policy which is a joint agreement between the state government, the National Union of Road Transport Workers, (NURTW) and an insurance firm.
Despite the outrage which greeted the new tax, the Special Adviser to Ondo state government on Transport, Mr. Tobi Ogunleye, explained that the scheme was designed for the safety and welfare of travellers in the state.
The new tax, which is aside from the normal transport fare, was described as an insuranc welfare package for travellers in the state.
According to him, at every motor park in the state, passengers would be requested to pay an additional fee of one hundred naira as premium to their transport fees.
The Adviser said that in the event of accident, victims and their relatives would be entitled to compensation to be determined by the insurance firm.
The governor’s aide pointed out that the scheme would also ensure security of life of travellers as it would put an end to roadside loading by commercial drivers.
” If you notice in recent times, the menace of highway ritual killings and kidnappings, are rampant and most of the victims do accuse the drivers’ union of complicity.
”This is what actually informed the NURTW in the state to bring this initiative in order to wash their image clean of accusations,” he added.
Mr. Ogunleye maintained that it has become offence for anybody that wants to go through commercial means out of Ondo state to be standing along the road, while any vehicle that picks passengers by the roadside without the manifest would be impounded.