Even with the recent unrest in various parts of the country, heightened level of insecurity, armed robbery, kidnapping and other menaces ravaging the country, not leaving out the novel Coronavirus, certain Police officers still make bribe collection a priority to themselves.
The Street Journal brings to limelight, the travails of the average Nigerian through the eyes of a road traveller who narrates his recent road trip experience:
“So I sneaked into Lagos last week or let’s say I was close to Lagos.”
“Since I know the rule that only foodstuff vehicles should be allowed free pass, I opted to go along with one of the food stuff delivery driver.”
“The vehicle was loaded with food stuff; Yam flour, Cassava flour, Tapioca, Garri and nothing else. Saki to Alaga going towards Ado Awaye was what I will call a smooth ride.”
”The police as usual collects their regular N100 at every stop and then the real journey starts and the price increases as we pass Ado Awaye. N200 for the “regular police” or your vehicle will be towed to the station.”
“You know what that means; N10,000 or more for the sharing network will be more. SARS team officers illegal road fee start from N500 per spot.”
“The miitary men are not left out.
The driver needs to park the vehicle then go and settle the officers under the tree where they collecting fresh air.”
“At some point we met a team of policemen by the road side with a stand-by generator set to power the collection point by night.”
“The dedicated illegal collectors, I learnt they stay all night collecting illegal fees. “Is it not N100?”
“How much is N500?” But you will be surprised what we spent settling the force men on the road. I was able to add up to N8,300 before I dropped while the driver continued to Lagos. I know he will still spend more before getting to where he will drop the goods in Lagos.”
“Of course the money you pay is according to the size of your vehicle. Bus driver’s will pay more. At some places we tried negotiating lower fees with the police. Some by begging. Some will agree, Majority will insist on what they will collect and the driver must pay.
* No overloading…
* Vehicle papers are complete
* Driver’s licence is up-to-date
* ID card handy
“None of the above is any criteria considered. Nobody asks for it. You must shaaaa drop pay”
“Covid-19 is indeed a brisk business making opportunities for the force men at the expenses of food suppliers. An 18 seater bus load to Lagos from Saki that use to be N60,000 before COVID-19 is now N80,000 for full load.”
“Before COVID-19, about 30 bus load daily move both passenger and goods to Lagos. During COVID-19, the movement are restricted to food stuff but we still have nearly 10 buses going out to Lagos with foodstuff daily.”
“The force men collect more fee when the goods being moved are perishable goods. Ofcourse they know you are in hurry to get to the market. They will intentionally delay the vehicle if you refuse to settle”
* If a small vehicle driver spent N10,000 per trip for police settlement and the bus are spending between N15,000 – 18,000 per day, calculate how much illegal revenue that the police are collecting on the road everyday per month per annum
* What if the government legalise the illegal collection so we can have uniform payment all through and we will avoid the incessant time wasting on the road
* Is it that none of the “Ogas at the top” is even aware of all these illegal collections and plenty of their force men on the road?
Many people believe that the force men road side collectors are sent to the road by the so called “oga at the top”
“Some even said the force men road side collectors have target collection to meet up with given by the “oga at the top”
“Anyway, General Diya lost one of his wives to COVID-19 today.”