The Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki has disclosed that although the federal government has lifted ban on interstate travel, it would not hesitate to withdraw the operational permits of transporters who flout the safety protocol.
The Minister stated this when she chaired a virtual meeting of the Forum of Nigerian Transport Commissioners, adding 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.
She further disclosed that 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.
The Minister explained that 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.
She stressed that the essence of 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 as a way of protecting passengers, operators and workers, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to provide support for stakeholders.
Saraki further noted that 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.
She averred 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, and also advised that public road transport capture must be done to enable for contact tracing.
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