A REPORT conducted by the International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), has revealed that street urchins in Lagos State, generate a whooping sum of N123.078 billion per annum by extorting commercial drivers and riders in the state.
The amount is being generated through rates, fees, tolls and other forms of levis around various motor parks and garages.
The street urchins popularlly called Area Boys or ‘Agberos’ usually generate the income under the supervision of the various transport unions in the state..
The ‘Agberos’ are the official workers of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) who are usually seen in white and green uniform or mufti.
The report by ICRI titled: ‘Transport Statistics and Annual Revenue Paid to Agberos In Lagos’, said the money is made from rates, fees, tolls and other forms of tax levied on fares basically around the motor parks, garages and road sides.
It said there are 75,000 commercial buses (danfos) in Lagos as revealed by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA).
Also, despite the prohibition of tricycles (Keke Marwa or NAPEP) by the Lagos State Government, the report showed that there are 50,000 of them operating in the metropolitan city.
Likewise, ICIR stated that interviews with motorcycle riders in Lagos disclosed that each Local Council Development Authority (LCDA) in Lagos has about 1,000 motorcycles. With the calculations, there are 37 LCDAs in Lagos which sums up to about 37,000 motorcycles across the state.
In the estimated figures, each commercial vehicle driver pays about N3,000 to ‘Agberos’, also known as ticketing touts on daily basis totalling a huge sum of N82.1 billion per annum.
This means that these drivers pay N225 million daily, N6.75 billion monthly, and N82.125 billion annually to ‘Agberos’ in Lagos.
This was confirmed in the interviews conducted by ICIR with 50 drivers from 37 LCDAs.
Also, while some motorcyclists pay N800, others pay between N400 and N600 while the statistics put the estimated figures at N8.1 billion annually.
The report said the interviews conducted with motorcycle riders in Lagos, revealed that each pay between N400 and N800 daily to ‘Agberos, according to the Motorcycle Operators’ Association of Lagos State (MOALS).
By implication, motorcycle riders pay N22.2 million to ‘Agberos’ daily, N666m monthly and N8.103 billion per year.
The report further showed that over 60 tricycle riders in 21 LCDAs in Lagos told ICIR that they pay a minimum of N1,800 daily.
This means ‘Agberos’ rake N90m from the monthly fees collected from tricycle riders and N2.7 billion, which has increaeed to N32.85 billion annually
Each commercial vehicle driver pays a minimum of N3,000 to ‘Agberos’, also known as ticketing touts, every day, according to oral testimonies obtained by ICIR from over 50 commercial bus drivers in 21 out of 37 local council development authorities (LCDAs) in Lagos.
In summary, commercial buses, tricycles, and motorcycles pay an annual N123.078 billion to ‘Agberos in Lagos which excludes taxis.
The report said there is no formal document that specifies that the revenue is being remitted into the coffers of the state government.