The Lagos House of Assembly has ordered Local Government councils and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) to stop extorting and harassing operators of courier and logistics services in the state.
This was made known in a statement to Naija News by the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of the Lagos Assembly, Eromosele Ebhomele, detailing proceedings at today’s plenary.
According to the statement, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, emphasized that local government councils and LCDAs do not have the power to tax logistics and courier services.
According to him, the power of the councils was limited to the registration of bicycles as dictated by the constitution of the country.
Obasa said it was lamentable, especially as such acts affect ease of doing business “and it is very important that we do something about it.
He said: “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 contribution, leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, said that courier and logistics services help people in different areas to interact with their customers.
Agunbiade added that the operation had a way of boosting the economy of the state and empowering the people through employment.
“The motion did not say they should not be regulated. A courier service should not pay from one local government to the other or else it would defeat the purpose of their business.
“The revenue should be centralised among the local governments. The House once passed a law to regulate collection of fees by local governments. The law stated that whoever is collecting levies for the local governments must be identified,” he suggested.