As the world continue to battle the dreaded Corona virus, also referred to as Covid-19, one of the badly hit segments of the economy, remain the Transport and allied industries.
All modes of this industry have been adversely affected because when movement of goods and services are restricted, there is no way the industry can breathe.
It is projected that the Nigeria aviation sector will lose over N200b, and force over 20,000 workers to stay at home until further notice.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) made up of 290 airlines worldwide, stated that the country will lose over two million passengers.
In the maritime sector, the situation is not any palatable, as the federal government’s plan to generate the sum of N2trn via duties and other charges, has already been badly eroded.
This is aside the fact that practitioners in the sector such as freight forwarders, importers, chandlers, terminal operators etc are already recording huge deficits.
The managing director of a Lagos-based clearing and forwarding firm, Gold-Link Investment Limited, Tony Anakebe, said: “This situation is going to affect Nigerian maritime industry seriously because close to 50 per cent of imports into the country, especially machineries, raw materials and finished products come from China and other Far East Asian countries.”
Also, all train services in the country have been suspended, following the outbreak of Covid-19. And to make matters worst, all construction jobs for the very important Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line, have been stopped.
The Lagos district metro train service has over the years been a very reliable means of mass transportation for Lagos workers who live in neighbouring Ogun state, Ota axis.
Also, the Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge train service has been relied upon by travelers who are running away from the Abuja-Kaduna expressway that has been infamous for kidnapping and banditry of late.
Road transport companies are equally not smiling at this moment, since inter-state travels was banned nationwide. The high capacity and mini buses known for ensuring movement of goods and services across the country, are just occupying space in the various terminals.
Even the intra-city road transport operators are feeling the pitch, as the capacity of intra-city travels has significant dropped because schools are shot down, opening of businesses are staggered and government offices do not open daily.
Auto distributors and dealers are also feeling the heat of no-sales. Allied services such as lubricants, fuelling, spare parts etc have also not been spared.
The Transport and allied industries is one very important segment of the economy that government must put measures in place to assist, by way of interventions, so they can get back to their feet as soon as possible.