Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) on Sunday appealed to the Federal and State Governments to review interstate travel ban occasioned by the lockdown to curtail Coronavirus (COVID-19) spread.
The National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Abdulrahman Amusan, who made this appeal in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, said sufferings of transport operators were becoming unbearable.
NAN reports that the Federal Government had announced ban on interstate travel on May 4, to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the country after a five-week lockdown in some states.
Amusan said that the state and federal governments should not forget or abandoned transport operators whose businesses and sources of livelihood had been paralyzed.
Amusan, who is also RTEAN Secretary in Lagos State, said that the union equally expected some sorts of palliatives from the various governments for drivers and conductors.
According to him, the government should consider and expedite action on reviewing the ban on interstate travel and also provides some palliatives for the operators that have been at home for about three months now.
“We appeal to the Federal Government and the State Governors to consider lifting the ban because the hardship and losses are huge for operators.
“We have lectured and admonished our members, whose sources of livelihood have been paralysed by the lockdown and the ban on interstate travel, to strictly adhere to all the COVID-19 prevention guidelines and protocols.
“The hardship has come to unbearable point. Our members have endured and have tried to go through those hardships,” the RTEAN spokesman said.
According to him, the union is in total support of the efforts of the government in combating the novel Coronavirus and will continue to support the government in all its policies and programmes, especially during this pandemic.
“We can all imagine the plights someone who does not have any other source of livelihood apart from state to state, city to city transportation without any assistance from the government in the last three months.
“We appeal to the governments at the Federal and States to come to our aid.
“We are appealing to the government and we are assuring that we are ready to obey all the guidelines and protocols.
“Even if the ban is lifted, it will take sometime before affected operators will get themselves afloat and settle all the financial burdens,” he said.
NAN recalls that the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 had on June 23, said it had started reviewing the guidelines for lifting ban on interstate travels.
The PTF National Coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu, had said the roads would be opened when all bus termini in the country had COVID-19 preventive measures in place.
Also, the PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha, disclosed that the Federal Government would next week decide on its lockdown policies, including the ban on interstate movements.