By: Alfred Saiki,
Commuters woke up today to the rude shock of having to walk to work or wait for the few taxis available in Jos the capital of Plateau state, as they were left stranded because operators of tricycles (popularly called “keke NAPEP”) in Jos protested the payment of Training Fee by the Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO).
The protest which was peaceful as “keke” operators, were seen moving around with leaves on their “keke” in solidarity. This peaceful protest was however disrupted when some aggrieved members took the protest to the state VIO office on Ahmadu Bello way in Jos.
The aggrieved “keke” operators and members of the VIO to the surprise of passer byes were involved in stone throwing at each other. It had to take the intervention of security agencies around to bring the situation under control.
Speaking to REALITY, one Mr. Emmanuel, a “keke” operator said the protest was necessitated because, the VIO had asked “keke” operators in the state to pay a Training Fee of over N5,000.00 (Five Thousand Naira).
“They (VIO) asked us the pay for driver’s license, we agreed as this would even help identify genuine “keke” operators in the state. We were also made to register our “keke”, as you can see, my “keke” is registered, and this number you are seeing is my registration number. But to our greatest surprise, when you go to pay, they would now tell you to pay a training fee of over N5,000,00.
My brother, please ask them, who do they want to train? I wonder why the government would want to treat us this way considering the current economic situation we are in the country”, Mr. Emmanuel lamented.
On his part, Mr. Bulus, also a “keke” operator, who shuttles the Terminus -Tudun Wada route, said, “We would resist this as much as possible! The government should look into the issue. Somebody should tell us why we should pay a “Training Fee”.