As part of effort to cushion the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, the federal government has approved the sum ₦10 billion survival fund for operators in the transport sector.
Disclosing this in Abuja, the Minister of State for Transportation Senator Gbemisola Saraki said the funds, which will help to cushion the sufferings encountered by road transport workers and operators as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, is domiciled with the Federal Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment adding that the Federal Ministry of Transportation is currently working on the modalities for its disbursement.
Saraki made the disclosure when the President, Public Transport Owners of Nigeria Association (PTONA), Engr. Isaac Uhunwagho, led the association’s National Executive Committee and Trustees to pay her a courtesy call in Abuja.
Saraki reiterated the importance of the road transport, saying 90% of Nigerians travel by road, stressing that the Federal Government will soon initiate a master plan that will reform the nation’s transport industry. She therefore called on all stakeholders to cooperate with the government to enable the government do the needful for the industry.
Saraki also promised to discuss the challenges that transport operators are facing from State governments and other stakeholders with the National Transport Commissioners Forum even as she expressed the ministry’s willingness to concession some roadss in the country, which she said is the best way to go to increase government revenue, adding that she’s already in talk with Federal Ministry of Works and Housing on the matter.
In his remark, Eng. Uhunwagho lamented that despite PTONA members being the major investors in the transportation sector, it is ironical that their companies are the prime target for state and local government authorities who impose taxes, levies and other ridiculous conditions on their members.