The Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN)’s Enforcement Task Force on COVID-19 Public Transport Operational Guidelines in Lagos, on Monday clamped down on some commercial drivers flouting the state government directives.
The Task Force led by Alhaji Mohammed Musa, also the State Chairman of RTEAN, told newsmen during the enforcement operation at Iyana-Iba Motor Park, that the state government’s directive was in the interest of the society.
Musa, who frowned at the deliberate disregard of some commercial drivers and conductors to the standard precautionary measures, said that the task force would continue to complement the government law enforcement agencies.
“COVID-19 is real and we don’t want to lose any of our members as well as our commuters.
“Government’s guidelines for public transport are in the interest of our members and the society.
“We constituted this enforcement task force of about 100 RTEAN executive members, because we know some people will not want to comply and government law enforcement cannot be every where.
“We are out to implement the directive of the state government that our buses should not take more than two passengers on each seat, and that not more than eight passengers should be in a 14-seater bus.
“Our motive is to support the government and we will not relent.
“We will be going out daily to parks under our control, Bus Stops and roads to enforce the new operational guidelines,” RTEAN chief said.
He said that RTEAN executive members had been duly informed and cautioned on the guidelines, saying the association would not rest on its oars to ensure compliance in the interest of the society.
The RTEAN chief, who forced excess passengers in several buses to alight on the road, gave many of them N500 each to board another buses to their respective destinations.
Musa said that the association had procured some thermometers and deployed two each to various parks for temperature check of drivers, conductors and passengers.
Musa urged commercial bus operators to acquire hand sanitisers to sanitise their hands regularly as well as those of passengers before entering their buses.
He said that the unit, chapel and zonal chairmen of the association had been directed to provide hand sanitisers and handwashing facilities in various parks where the union was operating.
The chairman advised all members to disinfect their buses every working day.
“If we can continue with what we started today, definitely drivers will comply. We will continue doing this until all drivers comply.
“Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu meant well with his directives, and we should keep law and order to be safe. We have to give social distancing in the buses,” he added.
Musa urged its members to adhere strictly to the new guidelines and observe them daily to forestall further spread of COVID-19 through public transport.
The chairman urged bus drivers and conductors to strictly abide by the compulsory use of face masks and social distancing in the buses and the curfew.
Many of the buses did not comply with the 60 per cent capacity of loading directed by the government.
While some loaded to full capacity, some had three passengers on each seat as against recommended two. (NAN)