Nigeria: COVID- 19 - FCTA Issues Transportation Protocol On Social Distancing

27 March 2020

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has issued protocol to members of the public and transport operators on how to observe social distance while commuting around the city.

Addressing journalists yesterday, the Director, FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS), Alhaji Wadata Bodinga, said the guidelines would be duly enforced by the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), the DRTS in conjunction with other security agencies.

He advised FCT residents to minimise movement and avoid shared taxis and buses where possible.

"All transport operators should maintain a high level of cleanliness in their offices and among their staff. All parks and garages should be regularly sanitized.

"All vehicles should be regularly cleaned and sanitized amid trips," he said.

Bodinga also urged all parks and garages to have alcohol-based sanitizers, hand washing soaps and running water for the use of passengers, drivers, and other staff.

He also advised passengers to sanitize themselves before and after each trip, while mandating drivers and conductors to wear recommended nose masks while in transit.

"The use of the air conditioner in shared taxis and buses is hereby discouraged. All taxis shall henceforth convey three passengers only: one person in the front seat and two persons at the back seats.

"All buses shall convey one passenger in the front seat and two passengers on other seats with minimum contact maintained," he stressed.

Bodinga further charged high capacity buses to operate at 50 per cent of its capacity, saying that standing shall no longer be allowed.

"All tricycles (where operation is allowed) shall convey 2 passengers only at the back seat and only the rider in the front seat.

"It is, therefore, an offense to admit passengers or be allowed to be conveyed in vehicles or tricycles in excess of these guidelines.

"All commuters and passengers should maintain regular queues and orderly lines while maintaining social distancing to avoid needless contacts and struggles that might lead to altercations and spitting or droplets," he added.

Meanwhile, travelers rushed to motor parks to travel out of the territory as the restriction on movement and gathering in some states and FCT commenced.

Travelers were in large numbers rushing for vehicles to their destinations at the Jabi Motor Park yesterday.

A member of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Utako Motor Park, Abuja, Umar Ahmed, said the number of travelers increased such that vehicles that convey travelers are scarce.

"The number of travelers is high. The vehicles are available but not every driver wants to travel because they don't know the situation they will meet there. There are passengers but no vehicles to carry them. Most of the motorists that are traveling today, also want to leave the city" he added.

Another staff of the NURTW, Bashir Hassan, said some of the motorists have increased transportation fare.

Some of the travelers who spoke to City News said they want to travel to their various states to avoid the effects of the lockdown.

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