The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has tasked public transport and fleet operators to adhere strictly to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) protocols, to prevent further spread of coronavirus.
The FRSC Sector Commander in Ebonyi, Mrs Stella Uchegbu, stated this on Monday, while addressing fleet operators at the Enugu North Transportation Company’s park in Abakaliki.
Uchegbu said that the FRSC headquarters had met with representatives of transport unions, among other stakeholders, on ways to check the spread, especially with the gradual easing of the COVID-19 lockdown.
“The state commands have been directed to step down the directives on safety measures, hence our resolve to educate the fleet operators who will, in turn, educate their drivers, passengers and others.
“This is a step on the lockdown exercise, as the Federal Government has relaxed the ban on inter-state travels, as part of lockdown gradual easing.
“People are presently moving freely; but with the pandemic presently in its community transmission stage, it is our duty to ensure that travelers do not carry the disease about,” she said.
According to the sector commander, motorists are expected to observe all safety protocols, such as hand washing with soaps before and at disembarking points, use of sanitisers, wearing of facee masks and observation of social distancing, among others.
“Public transportation companies are expected to provide temperature check devices, regular cleaning of surfaces inside their vehicles with bleach or sanitisers and protective barriers between passengers and fare cashiers.
“They should also ensure that seven persons were carried by 10-seater vehicles, nine by 13-seater buses and two in a row inside luxurious buses, which should also ensure that passengers do not stand,” she said.
The FRSC sector commander said that mobile courts would be established to try offenders, adding, however, that emphasis would be placed more on enlightenment and monitoring.
“The use of air conditioners, especially for long distance journeys, has been suspended, as hand washing and sanitisers should also be applied, at least, four times before the end of every journey,” she said.
“We, however, appeal to the FRSC to be considerate during enforcement of the safety protocols, as the reduced number of passengers for journeys has adversely affected drivers and public transportation companies,” he said.
A passenger, Mrs Beatrice Njoku, urged transportation companies to use the COVID-19 situation to maintain their vehicles and ensure that safety measures were effectively implemented.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq