Transport Operators under the aegis of Public Transport Owners of Nigeria, has issued guidelines following the reopening of interstate movements.
The group after its emergency meeting in Onitsha, Anambra on Wednesday, directed compulsory use of face masks by passengers
Briefing newsmen after its meeting, the National Taskforce Chairman, Chief Joseph Ejiofor and the Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria, a sub-group of the main body said various motor parks visited showed a substantial compliance to the health and safety of COVID-19 protocols by the government.
He disclosed that members have agreed to reduce the number of passengers in the luxury buses from 57 to 30 to ensure the physical distancing protocol.
Ejiofor, however, said an emergency meeting will be held to review of transportation fare as a result of reduction of number of passengers .
He warned that members, who flout the COVID-19 protocols especially overloading of vehicles.
“For smaller buses, passengers to be carried will now be nine as against 14 passengers while five passengers will now be allowed in Sienna buses as against seven.
He vowed to punish members who flout the Federal Government COVID-19 protocols especially overloading of passengers.
He added that any transport company flouting the COVID-19 order would pay N20,000 besides the stipulated penalty of N50,000 by the Federal Government.
“COVID-19 is real. We are safer when no one is affected by COVID-19 disease,” he added.
He disclosed that further meetings would be held with various state governments to ensure strict enforcement.
The state task force chairman, Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria, Uchenna Akuegbu, also noted that physical distancing would increase the transport fare.
According to him, transportation fare to Lagos from Onitsha would now cost N8,500 as against the former price of N4,000, while that of Onitsha to Kano will cost N8,000 as against N4,000.
Akuegbu added that Onitsha to Jos, which was previously N4,500 is now N8,000.
The task force chairman also appealed to the government to support the body towards enforcing the protocols.