The National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), has commended the Federal Government for lifting the ban on Inter-State Travel in the country.
Mr Kabiru Yau, Acting General Secretary of the union, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) however, called on the government to subsidise the cost of transportation for motorists.
According to Yau, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines by the government requires the motorists to carry fewer passengers than normal on each trip, thereby reducing the income of the motorist.
“We thank the Federal Government for lifting the ban; it is a welcome development because it is over three months that our members have been out of jobs and without income.
“At least, our people will now start working and get something to feed their families.
“But at the same time, due to the spacing in the vehicles which will require the drivers to carry only nine or ten instead of the usual 18 passengers, the income of the drivers will be reduced.
“So we want the government to help subsidise the cost of those passengers that we will not be carrying or we will have to increase our transport fare.
“This is because the money that will be generated from the reduced number of passengers will barely cover the cost of fuel for the journey that will be embarked on.
`So what is the gain? What will you give to the owner of the vehicle? So, the government should please help us look into this matter,’’ Yau added.
On maintaining the COVID-19 protocols, Yau said the union would ensure its passengers obeyed the use of face mask as any passengers without it would not be allowed to travel from its park.
“ We will also ensure the provision of handwashing equipment at the various parks that we operate to ensure proper washing and sanitising of hands .
“Although, some of the additional requirements will be the responsibility of the local governments as they own most of the parks we operate on, we (NURTW) are merely tenants,” he said.
NAN reports that the Federal Government had banned inter-state travel to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country, but announced its lift from July 1.