Transporters and commercial drivers have lamented the continued enforcement of the ban on inter-state transit emplaced to curb the spread of COVID-19, saying it has impoverished them, rendered most of their workers jobless and crippled their transport businesses.
This is coming just as the Federal Executive Council (FEC) will on Wednesday consider the reviewed COVID-19 guidelines on transportation.A visit to motor parks across the country capital revealed that some inter-state commercial transporters have been engaging in illegal operations.
But many of the drivers who have chosen to be law abiding wonder how long they will be able to continue living without means of livelihood while depending largely on money made from intra-city operations.
At Okefia Motor Park in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, that used to be a beehive of activities, only intra-city transits are allowed to operate freely.LEADERSHIP findings revealed that interstate transit by commercial transporters still operate in obscure locations across the state capital under heavy hike in transport fare.
One of the drivers in one of the locations, Mufutau Adisa, who spoke to our correspondent, noted that provision must be made in the reviewed guidelines for commuters who must move for important reasons.
Adisa, who attributed the hike in transport fare in such circumstances tothe need to settle security personnel on the road and the bid to divert from major routes to obscure routes that are longer and rough, called for immediate lift of the ban on interstate transit.
The chairman of National Union of Road Transport Workers in Ogo Oluwa Park, Semiu Ademola, pleaded with the government to lift the ban on interstate transit and roll out operational guidelines instead of the ongoing illegal movement without guidelines.
Also, transporters in Ekiti State are bemoaning the loss they incur on a daily basis due to the ban on inter -state travel by the federal and state government, just as they called for a review of the ban.
Speaking with the LEADERSHIP in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, the assistant secretary of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Mr Akinluyi Kayode, said while it was good that government introduced the measure to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state, the prolonged restriction is adversely affecting their source of livelihood.