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FG approves N10bn COVID-19 palliative for transport sector

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As part of efforts to boost the transport sector, the Federal Government has approved N10 billion for road transport workers and operators in mitigating the negative effect of coronavirus after gradual easing of lockdown introduced to curb spread of the virus.

It explained that the fund was to ameliorate sufferings encountered by workers in the sector in line with the administration’s commitment to supporting all sectors in readjusting to the new reality occasioned by outbreak of the deadly pandemic.

The Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, said that the palliative was part of initiatives introduced as early responses to cushion the economic and social effects of the pandemic, through the Economic Sustainability Programme (ESP).

Through a statement released to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja after the President, Public Transport Owners of Nigeria Association (PTONA), Isaac Uhunwagho, led the association’s National Executive Committee and Trustees to visit her, the Minister noted that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration would soon initiate a master plan that would reform the sector.

She informed the delegation that the fund was domiciled at the Federal Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Investment adding that the Ministry of Transportation was currently working on the modalities for its disbursement.

The Minister assured that the administration would soon intervene on challenges being faced by operators in the sector, adding that she would discuss the issues through the National Transport Commissioners Forum.

Saraki revealed that she was also working with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing on the concessionning of some routes which according to her was the best way to go to increase government revenue.

Furthermore, she enjoined the group to avoid duplicity and formalise their structures in an organised manner for better engagements, with the ministry and other relevant agencies.

Responding, the National President of PTONA, Uhunwagho, who explained that their visit was in respect to the challenges being faced by the body, commended the cooperation and protection which the Ministry was providing for public transportation in the country.

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