In our continual quest to serve our readers better and maintain our leading position in online news reportage, Popular News, have recently rebranded in line with modern creed. Our avid readers must have noticed that the rebranding has ensured that our content is more attractive and our language more enticing and elucidating while we have added more categories to our content page.
One of the new additions is People’s Parliament which is an avenue to accommodate readers contributions on some trending issues. Readers can also write in to let the world know their experience on some issues that can be of interest to many others.
The opening shot for the category today is the issue of newly introduced Edo Internal Revenue Service(EIRS) ticket for cab and bus drivers plying the metropolitan areas of Benin City. The idea obviously must have emerged as a way of boosting the revenue base of the state government as it strives to meet the yearnings of the people to provide infrastructural development in line with Governor Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki’s campaign promises.
The ticket is a daily affair and is obtainable by cab and bus drivers who ply the metropolitan area of Benin City. From what Popular News gathered the drivers are expected to get the ticket for N400 once every day from officials of the revenue department of any of the three metropolitan local councils namely – Oredo, Egor and Ikpoba Okha everyday before 12noon.
The drivers welcome the idea saying that it will checkmate incidents of what is supposed to accrue to government purse ending up in the bank accounts of some dubious individuals.
However, from all indications the drivers and the government revenue officials are not on the same page as to the interpretation of how the system should operate. While the drivers feel that a ticket paid for through any of the council areas officials is legal tender in all routes in the metropolis, the revenue officials, especially the ticket checkers, are saying that a ticket obtained for instance from Oredo Local Government Council only guarantees a driver free movement within the council area nothing else.
That if a driver is moving outside where he got the ticket he should pay for another ticket from the new council area officials before he can be allowed to ply the new route. The interpretation to this should be given urgently before streets of Benin are turned into war zones as it is becoming usual in recent times.
The second issue has to do with the vigilante groups that emerged as a fallout of the endsars palava which led to jailbreaks and burning of police stations in Benin.
The vigilante groups are two types – the first group are those that came into being by the effort of residents of some areas in Benin to fight crime in their different streets/localities while the second group are those who came into being through the state government’s response to criminality in the metropolis most especially.
What residents are confused about is that the vigilante teams set up by residents seem to be more responsive to their assignments compared to the government team. While the residents’ team do a round-the-clock surveillance of their areas the government vigilante team, who from all indications are better paid, are often seen gathered at the National Museum premises in the heart of Ring Road ‘peppersouping’, quaffing alcoholic drinks and chatting the day away.
As a resident of Benin City what is your say on these contentious issues?