…say they lost over N12bn to lockdown
Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria (ALBON) has called on the federal government through the ministry of transportation to assist her with loan facility and other palliative interventions to sustain the business after Coronavirus pandemic.
It said it lost over N12 billion from the COVID-19 lockdown, closure of parks and borders in the country since March 2020.
Briefing newsmen on Tuesday, National Taskforce Chairman of ALBON Chief Joseph Ejiofor and Anambra state Taskforce Chairman Mr. Uchenna Maduakor regretted that their members were still counting loses as the lockdown and closure of borders persisted.
They said their members were dying of hunger staying at home while the busses were parked, appealing to security agents at the border to allow them passage to enable them feed their families and pay salaries.
They hinted that hey had been paying workers’ salaries even when they parked their buses in obedience to the federal government directive and NCDC protocols on COVID-19.
Ejiofor said, “Most of us find it difficult to pay salary and feed their families because since March 2020, their buses in Nigeria and in other Africans countries were parked in their garages doing no business.
“Our business is in verge of collapse if government fail to support us through invention fund and to write off our loan to remain in the business.
“We need fund to pay our banks, partners and bus suppliers who have been on our neck to pay up our loan facilities and supplies. We have time limit based on the agreement to complete the previous ones to get new ones.
“You know that after aviation industry, it’s our sector that generates more revenue for the federal government which should not be ignored in time like this to sustain the sector. We need to partner with government to assist us to remain in business.
“We obeyed the directives, but we have lost over N12 billion from the closure of parks and borders. We are appealing to law enforcement agencies to allow our buses to be transporting goods only to various places since we cannot transport human beings due to Coronavirus pandemics.
“We are dying of hunger staying at home while our busses are parked. We want to be carrying loads and any bus caught carrying passengers inside should be impounded by the security agents at the border. This will help us to feed our families and pay salaries. We also appeal that government on alternative should allow us to be transporting passengers by scattering them in the bus.
“If you come to our park, you see many goods packed there because there is no vehicle to transport them to their various places. So, they should allow us to be using our buses to be carrying the loads just like trucks with only driver and conductor and any bus caught carrying passengers with loads should be arrested.”