A coalition of 18 trade unions at the Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos, has protested against the alleged imposition of illegal levies on traders by the Iyaloja General, Folashade Tinubu-Ojo.
It was gathered that traders at the ICT hub started the protest last Monday and shut the market pending the resolution of the issues.
Our correspondent was told that Tinubu-Ojo allegedly imposed a Iyaloja and a Babaloja on the traders in June 2019.
The new market leaders, who displaced the existing leadership arrangement, allegedly introduced new levies.
The spokesperson for the coalition of trade unions in Computer Village, Nonso Bethel, said some hoodlums working for the new leaders, started charging outrageous sums.
“For instance, as a stall owner, if you take delivery of goods from the airport and you are bringing them into the market, the touts will collect N500 from the porter carrying them for you. If the goods are in your car, you will pay N2,000. But if you used a truck, they will collect N5,000,” he added.
Bethel said the traders endured the charges until the traders were asked to start paying N50 every day.
He said when they rejected this, they were mandated to pay N1,000 every month.
“Outside of this, we pay income tax, corporate tax, VAT and local government permits. So, we don’t know the constitutional authority that the Iyaloja has to be collecting N12,000 every year from shop owners. Those who sell by the roadside, they charge them between N1,000 and N1,500 on a daily basis,” he said.
Our correspondent gathered that things got to a head when a gate erected for security in the market was pulled down because there was no permission from the new Iyaloja.
The police also arrested two people in the market.
The Iyaloja general could not be reached on her telephone line and had yet to respond to a text message on the allegations as of press time.
However, our correspondent gathered that leaders of the coalition were in a meeting with Tinubu-Ojo to resolve the issues.