By Dirisu Yakubu
On the heels of the abysmal efficiency of the highway transport sector within the second quarter of 2020, Q220, the federal authorities has accredited the injection of N10 billion into the sector to cushion the impact of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
The Nationwide Bureau of Statistics, NBS, in its Q220 Gross Home Product, GDP, report earlier within the week reported that highway transport beneath Transportation and Storage class of the nations GDP, contracted by -51.37 p.c towards the two.83 p.c progress recorded in Q1 2020 and eight.21 p.c recorded within the corresponding interval of 2019, Q219.
Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, disclosed the stimulus package deal whereas taking part in host to a delegation of the Public Transport Homeowners of Nigeria Affiliation, PTONA, led by its President, Engineer Isaac Uhunwagbo.
She stated the fund which is meant to cushion the sufferings encountered by highway transport employees and operators on account of COVID-19, was domiciled within the Federal Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Funding.
Saraki stated the Federal Ministry of Transportation was already engaged on the modalities for its disbursement. Whereas noting that greater than 90 p.c of Nigerians journey by highway, the Minister stated President Muhammadu Buharis authorities was devising methods at revamping the sector for the good thing about Nigerians.
Reacting to challenges operators face from state governments and different stakeholders, the Minister gave the peace of mind that she would talk about the problems by the Nationwide Transport Commissioners Discussion board, including that talks have been ongoing with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing on the concessioning of some routes, to extend income technology for presidency.
In his response, Engr. Uhunwagho stated the go to was to maintain the Minister abreast of the challenges confronting the affiliation and counseled her effort since her appointment by President Buhari.
He additionally demanded COVID-19 monetary palliatives for members of the affiliation to stop their companies from folding up, whilst he famous that PTONA members felt the influence of the pandemic probably the most because of the ban positioned on interstate journey by the federal authorities to stop the unfold of the virus.
He additional lamented that regardless of PTONA members being main traders within the transportation sector, it was ironical that their corporations are the prime goal for state and native authorities authorities who impose taxes, levies and different ridiculous situations, whereas leaving the overall motor parks.