Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, Honourable Minister of State for Transportation (2nd Right) During PTONA Members' Visit Photo: FIMC Abuja

COVID-19: N10bn ‘Survival Funds’ approved for transport operators, says Minister

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

To alleviate the sufferings of road transport operators and workers, occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government has approved N10 billion as survival funds for the stakeholders in transport industry in Nigeria.

Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, Honourable Minister of State for Transportation, in a statement disclosed this Wednesday when she received a delegation of the National Executive Committee and Trustees of the Public Transport Owners of Nigeria Association (PTONA).

The Minister informed the delegation led by Mr. Isaac Uhunwagho, President of PTONA, that the Funds would help to cushion the negative impacts of the disruptive COVID-19 pandemic on road transport operators and workers in the country.

Public Transport in Lagos

The money was domiciled with the Federal Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment, and the Ministry of Transportation is already working on the modalities for disbursement to beneficiaries, said Sen. Saraki.

Explaining that 90 percent of Nigerians travel by road, the Minister stated that the government would soon initiate a master plan that would reform the industry, and urged all the stakeholders in the transport sector for support of the initiative.

She gave assurance that she would discuss the challenges operators face from state governments and other stakeholders through the National Transport Commissioners’ Forum.

Saraki stressed that she is in talks with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing on concessioning of some routes aimed at increasing government revenue.

The Minister urged members of PTONA to avoid duplicity and formalise their structures in an organised manner for better engagements with the Ministry of Transportation and other relevant agencies.

President of PTONA, in his response said their visit to the Minister’s was in respect of the challenges faced by the Association.

He sought COVID-19 financial palliatives for members to prevent their businesses from collapsing.

PTONA members felt the impact of the lockdown the most as their branded buses could not operate due to the ban on interstate travel, he lamented.

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