The Lagos House of Assembly on Monday ordered Local Government councils and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state to desist from extorting and harrassing operators of courier and logistics services in the state.
This was as the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, emphasised that local government councils and LCDAs do not have the power to tax logistics and courier services. He said the power of the councils was limited to registration of bicycles as dictated by the constitution of the country.
Obasa said, “It is lamentable, especially as such acts affect ease of doing business and it is very important that we do something about it.
“We have to make them understand that going out to disturb well-planned and organised businesses that stand to create employment for our youth especially with the rate at which students graduate with nothing much to do is not good at all.
“The services of courier services reduce poverty in the state and how much do they even charge?
“Local governments have nothing to do with the registration of motorcycles and tricycles. Operators of courier and logistics services should not be made to pay in all the local governments considering what they charge for their services.”
The House therefore resolved that local government councils should be aware of their limitations in this regard as well as stop using alleged touts and street urchins to collect revenues in other areas where they are legally empowered.
In the decision of the House which followed a motion earlier moved by Hon. Ganiu Sanni Okanlawon (Kosofe 1), the lawmakers further resolved to call on the Lagos State Government to direct the Commissioner for Transportation and other relevant agencies to ensure that operators of courier services and logistics are not harrassed by the local governments.
The House also directed the state Commissioner of Police to ensure that all extortionists in the state are apprehended.
“The House calls on Local Governments and LCDAs to desist from harrasing and extorting operators of courier and logistics services and restrain their traffic department from doing so.
“The Ministry of Information and Strategy should educate operators of Courier and Logistics Services and informed them about what is expected of them”, Okanlawon said.
Okanlawon stated that the laws and restriction orders on the ban of motorcycles in some areas in the state exempted the movement of motorcycles of courier and logistics services.
In his view, Hon. Moshood Oshun (Lagos Mainland 2) said that most of the local governments and LCDAs have traffic sections and that they charge exorbitant fines.
He urged that the traffic sections of these councils be looked into because they sometimes go the extreme of arresting and harrassing people.