By Deborah Coker
Benin, July 19, 2020 The Edo Sector Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on Wednesday set up a monitoring taskforce to ensure that transporters comply with COVID-19 protocols as directed by the Federal Government.
Mr Henry Benemaisia, the Edo Sector Commander of the Corps while setting up the taskforce at a stakeholders meeting in Benin, said that the taskforce would once on a weekly basis monitor the compliance of COVID-19 protocols at the various motor parks and terminal across the state.
Benemaisia explained that the National Headquarters of the Corps had after a one-day stakeholders meeting in Abuja reached a 10-point resolution on post lockdown interstate transport operation in the country.
He added that it was that resolution which was being cascaded to the states.
The sector commander explained that at the meeting which was presided over by Corps Marshal Boboye Oyeyemi it was resolved that all public transport operators should sanitise their vehicles and loading parks/terminals before and after each trip.
They were also required to reduce the loading capacity of their vehicles, as 13-seater buses should not exceed nine persons on a trip.
“In the case of the seven-seater vehicles, transporters should not carry more than five persons on a trip”.
The sector commander further said that the resolutions requested transporters to adhere strictly to all the laid down COVID-19 protocols.
According to him, transporters are to ensure that all their passengers wear face masks and observe the social distancing order in their sitting arrangement.
The transport operators were also expected to conspicuously place notices at their loading parks, to guide the passengers on the safety protocols.
He stressed that the FRSC was committed to helping the government to contain the spread of COVID-19, because the virus was real.
Benemaisia said that it was in view of this that the sector command decided to set up a taskforce comprising representatives from the various transport unions in the state as well as a government representative to drive compliance.
He added that the command would adopt a four-point approach of educating, sensitising, persuasion and subtle enforcement to ensure compliance.
He noted that as at Tuesday no fewer than 1,760 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the state with 58 deaths.
“So, there is the need to flatten the curve, COVID-19 is an invisible war, and all hands must be on deck to defeat it,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of other stakeholders, Alhaji Abdurasheed Amasihohu, State Financial Secretary, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), gave the assurance that stakeholders would join the FRSC to ensure compliance.