The Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Lagos State Council, Musiliu Akinsanya (aka MC Oluomo), has directed commercial drivers not to permit passengers without face mask to board their vehicles.

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Akinsanya said this in a statement on the operational guidelines to members following the easing of the lockdown in the state from Monday.

He said the union has set up a Task Force Unit to arrest any driver/union member that violates the guidelines.

According to him, only motor park chairmen and park attendants are allowed to resume at their respective motor parks. This, he said, was aimed at reducing crowd at the motor parks.

The NURTW boss said the operational time for commercial buses is between 8 AM and 7 PM, warning that no excuse will be entertained from any driver caught operating after the stipulated period.

“All passengers MUST put on their face mask. Failure to use it, such passenger should not be allowed into their vehicles.

“Tricycle Owners and Operator’s Association of Nigeria “TOOAN”(Maruwa operators) are to abide by the Lagos state government’s directive of carrying two passengers at a go.

“Drivers and their bus conductors are to ensure the practice of social distancing by operating at 60 per cent loading capacity,” he said.

Akinsanya said the task force will arrest any union member and driver that violate the guidelines above.

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Akinsanya said: “Let us all support the efforts of the State government in fighting this pandemic by adhering strictly to the above guidelines and many more that had been given by the authorities.

“It is no longer news that the whole world is currently fighting a war that is unlike the conventional war. The most challenging thing about this “health war” is that it can not be seen, has no cure yet and is no respecter of social status, age or gender. The number of confirmed cases sadly keep rising locally and globally.

“Sadly, this strange ailment keeps claiming the lives of the patients and those treating them. Quite inspiring are some retired medical professionals, who came out of retirement to help save lives, the efforts of the health care workers during this period will forever linger in our hearts. You are all truly our HEROES.

“Our hearts go out to the families of those lost to this pandemic and to those currently battling to survive the ‘unseen enemy’, we wish them safe and quickest recovery.

”As transporters who convey Lagosians from all walks of life every day to their respective destinations, we understand the value of service delivery in a complex state like ours hence, the need to roll out new guidelines to our members in order to protect them and their esteemed passengers.

“We are using this medium to appeal to all our Union members, drivers in particular, to please strictly follow the directives of the State and Federal governments, National Centre for Disease Control(NCDC) and World Health Organisation(WHO) in order to stop the avoidable spread of the virus.”