The Lagos State Government has appealed to residents to abide by the safety guidelines provided to curb further spread of COVID-19, following increase in confirmed cases after lockdown relaxation.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde made the appeal in a statement through the Head of Public Affairs Unit, Ministry of Transport, Mrs Bolanle Ogunlola on Wednesday in Lagos.
Oladeinde said: “The state government has deployed transportation safety guidelines, which the residents and operators of public transport must abide by, if we must end the Coronavirus pandemic in due time.
” The public transport operators should adhere to the directive of 60 per cent loading capacity.
“All stakeholders in the transport sector including the citizenry should adhere strictly to the guidelines and cooperate with the task teams that have been stationed at strategic points in the state so that the pandemic will be phased out,” he said.
He said that Monitoring Teams had been deployed to parks, garages, bus terminals, jetties and other public places in the state to ensure total compliance with the new public transportation guidelines.
The commissioner said the government’s commitment was to ensure safety of everyone.
According to him, men of the Nigeria Police assisted by officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and Vehicle Inspection Service ( VIS) will be coordinating the enforcement to ensure compliance.
He added that the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) would monitor compliance at the state borders, while the Lagos State Neighborhood Corps (LNSC) will be stationed at garages to ensure passengers adhered strictly to these rules of physical distancing.
The commissioner reiterated that the Yellow Commercial Buses popularly called ‘Danfo’ were not permitted to convey more than 8 people including the driver and conductor of the vehicle.
Oladeinde said that the Lagos State Bus Service Limited (LBS)) and Primero Transport Service Limited, operators of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) had also been mandate to convey only 21 passengers including the driver, instead of 70.
He said that tricycles were permitted to carry only two passengers at the rear seat in line with the 60 per cent loading capacity at this period.
According to him, the use of Okada for commercial operations is suspended for now because it is difficult to maintain the physical distancing rule on them.
Oladeinde also reiterated that the use of nose covers, sanitisers and regular hand wash at parks and garages by drivers and commuters was compulsory and of utmost importance.
“The BRT and Lagos Bus Service Limited have created a seating arrangement that favours social distancing rule while the BRT monitoring teams have been deployed by LAMATA to ensure compliance with the new regulations along BRT corridors.
“In the same vein, the Marine Monitoring teams are working with LASWA to ensure compliance on our waterways,” he said.
Oladeinde said the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) were in agreement on the safety guidelines enacted for the transport sector.
He said that both unions had equally created task force teams to monitor and ensure compliance by their members to further complement the efforts of the state government in preventing the spread of the Coronavirus.
“Before the state government issued the new public transport guidelines, all stakeholders in the sector were engaged and everyone saw the need for those regulations in the interest of public safety,” he said.
He said the state had positioned itself through its enforcement team to ensure safety of residents as they complied with the laid down transport guidelines while on transit. (NAN)