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Interstate Travel: Operations Resume At Abuja Parks

Commercial bus operators have resumed at motor parks in the Federal Capital Territory following the lifting of the ban on interstate travel by the Federal Government.

The parks had been locked down in March following the travel restrictions imposed on the country as part of measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19.

Checks by our correspondent at Utako park, Plateau Riders park, and others indicate that full operations had commenced with over 50 commercial vehicles said to have left the facilities on Wednesday.

At the Utako park, known as a hub for interstate movement, commercial activities were in full swing while traders, shop owners and other attached businesses at the park were on duty.

The situation was observed at the Plateau Riders park where a number of vehicles had reportedly departed the park with passengers to different parts of the country as early as 5:30 am.

A driver, Jerry Kwakwe, expressed happiness over the re-opening of the parks, describing the decision as a lifeline and “a gift for the new month”.

Commenting on the development, the branch Chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers, Jabi park, Taiwo Oshobu, described the development as good news for his members.

He said the commercial motorists suffered during the ban, noting that they could hardly meet their responsibilities to their families.

Oshobu stated, “We are the happiest Nigerians today; the lockdown really affected us and our families, we could hardly afford three square meals daily.”

Asked about their adherence to the protocols for motor parks, the union chairman said, “I want you to pay a surprise visit to Jabi park to monitor our adherence to the protocols. We have bought sanitisers and each vehicle has it.”

“We directed our workers to wear hand gloves and it is compulsory for anyone entering the park and passengers to wear face masks. People have been coming to the park since morning. Over 50 vehicles have left the park today (Wednesday) with passengers,” he revealed.

On fare hike, Oshobu said, “We didn’t increase the fares despite the fact that we now convey fewer passengers as directed by the government. Buses take nine instead of 14. We want the government to support the NURTW with palliatives. I want Nigerians to know that COVID-19 is real, so everyone should protect themselves and maintain social distancing.”

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