Nigerian Transport sector lost ₦200 billion in the first 3 months of lockdown occasioned by the covid-19 pandemic.
The impact of covid-19 pandemic on the world economy will be felt for several years — especially on the Nigerian Transport sector, which lost N200bn in the last three months due to the restrictions occasioned by the pandemic.
This was disclosed by the National President, Public Transport Owners of Nigeria Association, Isaac Uhunmwagho, during a press briefing.
Uhunmwagho described the interstate transportation as one of the engines of Nigerian economy. He said N50bn, N120bn and N200bn were lost in the first three months of the lockdown.
He urged the government to lift the ban on interstate transportation as soon as possible; adding that about 35 per cent of businesses died permanently during the lockdown.
“We tried to estimate recently what the financial losses to transport owners/operators might be after 10 weeks. The figures that we were seeing was in the region of N200bn.
“Inability to continue paying salaries to staff has been the plight of many transporters, as the funds are no longer there.
He also talked about the cost to restore the operators vehicles to sound condition after being left redundant for months.
“Thousands of vehicles have been parked redundant for almost three months. The cost of restoration of these vehicles to sound condition will be millions of naira.”
“Vehicles were never designed to be left idle, and even if they may restart, numerous mechanical, electrical and system faults are bound to arise; and the transport owners have very little funds left to meet up with these challenges,”
He expressed worry for some operators who had rented premises to store their vehicles during the lockdown.
Uhunmwagho urged the government to aid the sector financially now that they are expected to carry approximately 50 percent of passengers.
“If a vehicle takes 50 percent of passengers, simple arithmetic will dictate that the transport fare will have to double.
“Government needs to financially aid transport sector such that the transport owners do not have to transfer the entire burden on to the poor hapless Nigerians who are already very weak financially because of all the effects of COVID-19.”