Worried about the rising cases of the coronavirus in the country and alive to the fact that socio-economic activities cannot be put on hold indefinitely, the Federal Government has approved the operation of interstate travels, but sternly warns that the operational permits of transporters who flout safety protocols will be withdrawn.
The Honourable Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, who made this known on Tuesday when she chaired a virtual meeting with the Forum of Nigerian Transport Commissioners, further disclosed that it was resolved that the implementation guidelines prepared by the Federal Ministry of Transportation would be adopted to minimize the transmission of COVID-19.
According to the Minister, it was also agreed that all interstate transport operators are to apply and can only operate on confirmation of satisfaction of the defined guidelines by the State Ministry of Transportation.
Furthermore, the Federal Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Transportation at State/FCT level will regularly monitor the implementation and compliance to the guidelines as well as the impact on ensuring safety and minimizing the transmission of COVID-19 through the mass transit sector.
The overall objective, the Minister reiterated is to protect passengers, operators and workers, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to provide support for stakeholders.
Also, she disclosed that the guidelines was fine-tuned with that of the National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC and requests the registration of all private travel operators, parks and terminals operators to ensure restricted access, social distancing, disinfection and sanitization as well as have designated areas to isolate passengers with suspected case of COVID-19 infection.
Similarly, she said all passengers must be subjected to temperature checks, ‘no mask no entry’ policy must be adopted while staff must be sent for COVID-19 Conduct Training and must adorn Personal Protective Equipment, PPE while on duty.
Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, directed that bus operators must observe all the safety protocols and limit their capacity to 50% while windows must be open for short trips and the face masks should be worn throughout the journey.
She added that operators are advised on public road transport capture to enable for contact tracing.