Coronavirus: RIVERS GOVT ISSUES COVID-19 GUIDELINES FOR TRANSPORT OPERATORS, PASSENGERS

Sir. Hon. Sam Soni Ejekwu

The Rivers State Ministry of Transport has issued strict guidelines to regulate the operations of commuter buses and taxis operating in the state, in its effort to prevent a possible outbreak and spread of the deadly Coronavirus, with it’s attendant Covid-19 pandemic which is presently ravaging the global community

A communique issued at the end of a joint meeting between the Ministry of Transport and officials of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and other Stakeholders in the Transport Sector in Rivers State, by the state Commissioner for Transport, Sir. Hon. Sam Soni Ejekwu, reads thus:

I am glad to issue this Communiqué following the joint meeting between the Ministry of Transport and officials of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and other Stakeholders in the Transport Sector in Rivers State.

Everyone is aware of the challenges being faced by the global community around the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Government of Rivers State is committed to ensure the health, life and safety of its citizens; particularly as they commute from one part of the State to the other or from our State to other States.

Commencing from Monday the 23rd of March, 2020, all Operators of Commercial Vehicles and Passengers shall comply with the following regulations:

1. All Taxis shall admit or take a total of 3 passengers namely one person in the front seat and Two persons at the passenger sides immediately behind the front seats.

2. It is an offence to condone, connive or be an overloaded passenger. A person is said to be overloaded if found seated next to the door either in the front section of the vehicle or on the door side for the passenger immediately behind the front seats.

3. All buses shall admit or convey a total of :
a). 5 passengers for Suzuki buses
b). 10 passengers for 14/18 Seater Buses. One passenger in the front seat and Three passengers per seat row subsequently.
c). 2 passengers at the back for Keke. Just the rider in the front seat and Two passengers at the back

4. It is an offence to condone, connive or be an overloaded passenger. A person is said to be overloaded if found seated next to the door either in the front section of the vehicle or on the door side for the passenger immediately behind the front seats.

5. Further, effective from the 23rd of March, 2020, at all Bus Stops and Stations, all commuters and passengers shall maintain regular Queues and orderly lines to avoid needless rough contacts and struggles leading to altercations and spitting or droplets.

6. All Taxis and Buses shall keep and restock their vehicles with wipes, tissues and other disposal items for use by passengers to wipe down the car doors and other handles.

7. These directives shall be supervised, coordinated and enforced by the Road Marshalls of the Ministry of Transport, Rivers State and NURTW officials.

Members of the public and the Transport operators are enjoined to give the State Government their fullest support at this challenging moment of our collective existence.

To ensure compliance, members of the public are enjoined to call these numbers in case of noncompliance by drivers, conductors and passengers:

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Sir. Hon. Sam Soni Ejekwu
Commissioner, Ministry of Transport,
Rivers State.