As the restriction on movement eases, and long distance road transporters gradually return to their routes, the Chairman of Chisco Group of Companies, Dr. Chidi Anyaegbu, had a made a case for far-reaching concessions, to luxury bus owners.
Dr. Chidi Anyaegbu, has appealed to the Nigerian government to grant the luxury bus owners, waivers on taxes, duties and other levies as special incentive, to assist in easing up the situation around the losses incurred during the three month lockdown.
This appeal was made by Dr. Anyaegbu, during an exclusive interview in Lagos, in which he stressed that commercial transport owners, require as much concessions as possible, because it would be difficult to survive in business alone, post lockdown.
He said, “In order to manage the economic effects of COVID-19, it is important for the government to consider helping private commercial transport operators to recover from the impact of the three-month travel ban which was only recently lifted.
“We perfectly understand that it was necessary to shut down inter-state travelling to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The measure was for the well-being of everyone. But, at the same time, the government needs to consider that passenger transport businesses suffered huge losses due to the lockdown. “
According to Dr. Anyaegbu, billions of Naira were lost during the interstate travel ban, and there are still post-lockdown challenges for the travel industry, as transport owners will have to reduce the number of passengers, who are on board during their trips. This is also part of the post-lockdown measures, which are to be observed for interstate travel.
In his statement, Dr. Anyaegbu informed, that the increase in boarding fares, is due to the new rule of carrying only 50 per cent passenger capacity of their vehicles, in order to achieve the physical social distancing, as part of COVID-19 protocols. The Chairman also pleaded with potential passengers to adhere strictly, to all safety guidelines, in order t aid the fight against the wide spreading pandemic.
“Transport companies might go bankrupt even with the resumption of business operations because they can’t take the usual full load capacity. They have reduced to 50 percent boarding capacity as a measure to maintain physical distance. We have purchased safety equipments used for disinfecting our terminals and buses.
“We have hired safety experts to train our staff on the practical steps to fight against the spread of COVID-19. All these are unprecedented financial expenses. But, we had to do them to ensure that the safety of our passengers and staff is guaranteed. So I beckon on the government to reduce the levies to enable us recover from the economic losses, “ Anyaegbu said.