Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has raised the prices for raw materials for construction such as sands and gravels in an attempt to settle the prolonged crisis over the new tax regime imposed on tippers owners in the state.
With the development, the price of a tipper-load of sand has moved from N12,000 to N14,500 while the new approved price for gravel is N28,000 from the initial N25,000.
The governor, at the truce meeting, conveyed by security chiefs and prominent lawyer, Afe Babalola(SAN) , also accepted that operators would pay the sum of N500 per trip with effect from January 2, 2016.
Mr. Fayose and tipper owners had been at loggerheads over his insistence that operators would now pay N1,000 per trip, a proposal they vehemently rejected.
The standoff led to a ban from the state government, which restrained the tipper owners from carrying out excavation of sand in any part of the wtate, with effect from Wednesday, December 2.
The meeting was at the instance of Mr. Babalola; the Director of the State Security Service in the state, Duke Fubara and the Commissioner of Police, Etop James.
Mr. Fayose, at the meeting, said all tipper owners in the state must register their vehicles and get a new state number, threatening that whoever flouted the law would pay N50,000 fine.
“For the fact that I love you and that power belongs to the masses and with the intervention of our revered leader, Chief Babalola and security chiefs, I will accept this proposal. But my position has been that you must pay a sum of N1,000 per trip,” he said.
“I want us to come to reality that Ekiti is in dire need of money. N934million is being deducted from our allocation monthly.
“But no tipper will operate in Ekiti without proper registration. You need to be aware that any illegal operator will be seriously dealt with.”READ ALSO – “Infrastructure, Housing To Drive Demand For Cement” – BUA chief
The heads of the security agencies had earlier warned the parties of the security implications of continued standoff.
“The two parties would have to be aware of the security implications of this standoff. You just have to shift grounds for us to find a middle course to this matter,” Mr. Fubara said.
Mr. Babalola, who praised the governor’s magnanimity, told the tipper owners to continue to support the government of the day by paying their taxes the way they had been doing in the past.
“During the old Ondo State, I was rated the highest tax payer and I am still the best in Ekiti today,” he said.
“Ekiti needs money and we have to support Governor Fayose to make Ekiti work.”