The National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, has commended the Federal Government for lifting the ban on interstate travel in the country.
Acting General Secretary of the union, Kabiru Yau, called on the government to subsidize operation cost for motorists.
He said the guidelines outlined by the government for the resumption of operations amid the coronavirus pandemic require operators to carry fewer passengers on each trip, thereby reducing their income.
Yau said, “We thank the Federal Government for lifting the ban; it is a welcome development because it is over three months that our members have been out of jobs and without income.
“At least, our people will now start working and get something to feed their families.
“But at the same time, due to the spacing in the vehicles which will require the drivers to carry only nine or ten instead of the usual 18 passengers, the income of the drivers will be reduced.
“So we want the government to help subsidise the cost of those passengers that we will not be carrying or we will have to increase our transport fares.
“This is because the money that will be generated from the reduced number of passengers will barely cover the cost of fuel for the journey.
“So, what is the gain? What will you give to the owner of the vehicle? So, the government should please help us look into this matter.”
On maintaining the COVID-19 protocols, he said the union would ensure its passengers obey the use of face masks, sanitisers, amongst others.