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Anambra traders blame extortion for soaring food, goods prices

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Praise Necherem

Traders in Nnewi, Anambra state have sent a Save-Our-Soul message to Governor Willie Obiano over alleged revenue agents’ harassment of haulage operators from Bridge head axis to Onitsha, Awka and Nnewi metropolises.

They attributed increasing prices of goods in the market to the extortion by the agents, who claim to be working for the state government.

Speaking to newsmen in Nnewi, one of the traders, Prince Sunday Okoye, alleged that the agents deployed commando style to waylay motorists at various checkpoints on the expressway to extort huge sums of money from them. He said the tempo increased after the recent #EndSARS protest.

He said: “Drivers, who delivered goods to those major towns have continued to groan over the firm grip of the revenue agents, who never showed mercy, unless their victims coughed out any amount demanded from them.

“Things are getting out of control on expressways in our state, specially in major cities like Onitsha, Nnewi and Awka. The rate at which those touts and hoodlums are extorting money from trailer drivers and other vehicles in our state is too alarming.

“Drivers from other states are finding it difficult to bring in goods to Anambra state. Many have decided not to deliver goods to us at all and that is causing dramatic price increase of goods in the state.

“These boys are collecting money from post to post from the drivers. You find out that before the drivers will reach their destinations, they will go home with empty pocket. We need urgent attention on this issue. A trailer drive was telling me that from  Bridge head to Nnewi, he spent up to N40,000 to be free from boys.”

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