Coronavirus: Lagos, transport unions agree on loading capacity for big, mini buses

As part of the preventive measures to further curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), Lagos State government and leadership of major stakeholders in the transport business on Sunday reached a consensus that no standing of commuters in all public transport buses, including the high capacity buses and minibusses should have not more than two passengers seated in a row.

This followed a sensitization meeting held between the state Ministry of Transportation and the excos of the National Union of Road Transport Workers ( NURTW), and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), where a 6-point communiqué was issued at the end of the parley.

The meeting, which was held at the Ministry’s Conference Room, the Secretariat Alausa, Ikeja was aimed at educating the stakeholders in the transport business, especially public transportation on the need to join hands with the state government in the public awareness campaign against the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Other highlights of the communiqué are: “The Transport Unions should ensure that sanitizers and thermometers are available at their respective motor parks; the Transport Unions are to report any suspected case of COVID-19 to the government; the Unions were urged to observe the State Government’s latest guidelines banning large gatherings of people to protect the health and safety of Lagosians and the Transport Unions agreed to hype their personal hygiene which is the most important preventive mechanism for the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”

Addressing the Transport Union leaders, Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Olanrewaju Elegushi, urged them to fully engage their members on the preventive measures already in place to forestall further spread of the virus.

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The commissioner equally urged them to encourage their members on the need for regular handwashing with soaps, application of hand sanitizers and most importantly reduction in the number of passengers in their buses in their daily transport routine.

The Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Transportation, Hon. Toyin Fayinka, in his own remark, also affirmed that prevention of the further spread of the virus should be paramount to all and sundry.

According to him, such as the reason for the gathering to deliberate on the public transportation seating arrangement, to avoid overloading by reducing the number of passengers in their vehicles to stop further spread of the virus.

He encouraged the transport union members to be vigilant, meticulous and exercise utmost caution in
working together with the state government to rid of COVID-19.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Mr. Sewedo Oluseyi Whenu, said the state government was resolved to forestall further spread of the virus by ensuring the installation of soap and hand sanitizers dispensers in all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies.

Whenu implored the Transport Stakeholders to do the same by ensuring the provision of these sanitary facilities in their motor parks.

Also speaking, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Health, Dr. Mrs. Finnih, while highlighting the origin of COVID-19 to Lagos and the imperatives of avoiding body to body contact within the transportation system, implored the Union Executives to be mindful of the loading of passengers into their transport buses to check the spread of coronavirus within the polity.

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