The Federal Ministry of Transportation has announced yesterday 10th September 2020 that it has constituted the committee that is tasked with drawing up the guidelines for the disbursement of the Federal Government’s ten billion Naira fund as palliative for road transport operators and workers. Senator Gbemisola Saraki, Minister of State for Transportation made this known during the courtesy visit to the Ministry by Professor Tajudeen Ibikunle, the present National President of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) along with his predecessor Najumdeen Yasin. The Minister said that the members of the committee are drawn from the Transportation Ministry and relevant stakeholders and authorities in the transportation sector.
She advised the unions to interface and establish a unified and recognised body with which the Ministry can relate with so that the funds can be disbursed in time because palliative as the name implies, when perpetually delayed, defeats the intent and purposes for which it was to be meant.
Senator Saraki commended the union for their perseverance during the lockdown despite the fact that their livelihood was disrupted by safety protocols instructed by government to curb the spread of the virus.
The honourable Minister also appreciated the fact that the transportation sector has continued to thrive through sheer efforts on the part of members, adding that government is now positioned to improve the conditions of road transportation services, because more than 90% of Nigerians travel by road.
The former President of NURTW, Alhaji Najumdeen Yasin, said the purpose of their visit was to officially present to her the new National President of the Union and as well advise her to disregard the numerous associations posing as representatives of road transport workers and operators.
He said that the NURTW, which has existed for 21 years, is the only recognised representative of road transport workers and the Ministry should do well to work with it.
The new National President, Professor Tajudeen Ibikunle Lawal, while thanking the Minister for granting them audience, stated that NURTW members suffered directly and indirectly during the pandemic and pleaded with the Ministry to apportion a bigger portion of the palliative to its members.
Switch had reported on the 26th of August 2020 that the Federal Government of Nigeria has approved the sum of ten billion Naira as palliative for the operators and workers of road transport companies. You may click here to read our article.
The NURTW has been bedeviled with leadership tussles, which has led to the proliferation of rival groups or camps, and even, rival unions. The Union is known for involving in notorious fights, and many citizens have observed cases of thuggery allegedly perpetrated by members of the Union.
This may have warranted the Minister advising them to form a unified front to engage with the Ministry as soon as possible.