The Association of Professionals and Corporate Drivers of Nigeria (APCDN), an umbrella body of public/private sector drivers in Nigeria, has thanked the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Nigeria Medical Association etc for their efforts in combating the pandemic ravaging the country and the world at large.
The Association also thanked the Federal Government of Nigeria, for its decision to lift Inter-state Travels ban with effect from 1st July 2020 after three months of undue hardship experienced by its members whose only source of livelihood depends solely on driving vehicles as a profession in public/private organizations before they can make ends meet.
Speaking to newsmen in Lagos recently, the National Chairman, Comrade Agbor Osim Nzie, said he was however disappointed on the way and manner the Federal and state governments handled the palliatives, as according to him, no palliatives, assistance was given to its members across the 36 States of the Federation including the FCT.
Comrade Agbor said, “it is worthy to note that the services of APCDN members, were mostly utilized to convey “ESSENTIAL, COMMODITIES and SERVICES, which includes; the movement of NCDC officials and materials, medical personnel, also the patients from contact points to isolation centre as well as carrying samples to testing facilities where most of them contracted the virus in the process.”
He said “I challenge the government/stakeholders to point out one country in the world whose economy sector or subsector is not driven by transport/logistics, with key players mainly “PROFESSIONAL DRIVERS” (Movers of every nation’s economy) and why do we shift attention from them here in Nigeria as they mostly need both federal and state governments presence”, he stated.
Comrade Agbor lamented that in the cause of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of its members across the country have not received salaries for over three months, and some have lost their jobs while others who work in non-essential organisations.
He assured that the union, headed by him and his team is willing and open for discussion and collaboration with the federal/state government and stakeholders in repositioning the profession of drivers for effective service delivery and well-being and working condition of its members.
As a matter of urgency, APCDN threatened to embark on a nationwide strike if government and employers do not look into the owed salaries, welfare, working conditions and ensure job security for all professional drivers across the country.
The National Chairman said that” the association on its part, will continue to sensitize members to adhere to all NCDC, MOH, WHO protocols and guidelines for safety against Covid-19 and all road safety and traffic regulations must be obeyed continuously”.