Players in the Nigerian transport sector and members of the NURTW are currently lamenting that the new COVID-19 transport guidelines given by the FG could force them to increase interstate travel fares as they resume operations after months of lockdown. Factors like social distancing which means a huge reduction in the number of maximum allowed passengers seem to be the main concern for the transport workers.
Stakeholders in the Nigerian transport sector are warning of a possible hike in interstate travel fares due to COVID-19 guidelines
The Acting Gen. Secretary of the NURTW, Kabiru Yau expressed this new concern in a recent press interview while appreciating the Federal government’s lift of interstate travel ban.
Kabiru Yau said that the union is grateful for the current lift of interstate travel ban after its members had been jobless with no source of income for more than 3 months now due to the COVID-19 lockdown order. He appreciated the government’s effort and recognized the fact that its members can at now begin working again to survive. However, Kabiru expressed concern about the new transport guidelines given by the government as a new directive for interstate travels.
Kabiru Yau mentioned that the new guideline instructs that only 9 to 10 passengers be transported at once in an interstate travel bus that usually conveys 18 passengers and more. He stressed that this new arrangement will lead to a great deal of reduction in the overall income of many drivers and stakeholders. Kabiru pleads with the government to help look into possible ways of subsidizing this unavoidable cost that will eventually make it impossible for car owners and drivers to break even not to talk of even making any profit at all.
He ended his plea by stressing that failure of the government to look into the matter will prompt NURTW to greatly increase transport fares for a most interstate travel destination.
In case you are wondering how the Federal government’s mandated COVID-19 bus sitting arrangement looks like, the video below will give you an idea;
Lagos BRT bus sitting arrangement as government partially lifts the coronavirus lockdown on Monday