By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Federal Ministry of Transportation has constituted a committee to draw up guidelines for the disbursement of the ten billion naira Federal Government palliative fund for road transport operators and workers.
According to the statement signed by the D (PPR) Eric Ojiekwe made available to Sundiata Post, the Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, disclosed this on Thursday when the immediate past National President in company of the incumbent National President of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Alhaji Najumdeen Yasin, and Prof. Tajudeen Ibikunle Lawal, paid her a courtesy visit in Abuja.
She stated that the members of the committee are drawn from the Ministry of Transportation and all other relevant stakeholders in the transportation sector.
The Minister of State urged the unions to interface towards having one recognized body that the Ministry can deal with so that the funds can be disbursed as soon as possible because palliative as the name implies, when over delayed, defeats the intent and purposes.
Saraki who congratulated the new President of NURTW on his election, pointed out that the tasks before him is daunting but not insurmountable and urged him to continue to steer the affairs of the union in the right direction.
Sen. Saraki commended them for their perseverance during the lockdown despite the fact that their livelihood was disrupted by safety protocols put in place by government to curb the spread of the pandemic.
Furthermore, she appreciated the fact that the sector has continued to thrive through sheer efforts on the part of members, adding that government is now positioned to improving the conditions of service since over 90% of Nigerians travel by road.
The former President, Alhaji Najumdeen Yasin, earlier in his remarks, saidthat the purpose of their visit was to officially present to the Minister, the new National President of the Union as well as advise her to disregard the numerous associations posing as representatives of road transport workers and operators.
Hefurther informed that the NURTW which has existed for 21 years is the only recognized representative of road transport workers and the Ministry should do well to work with it.
The new National President, Prof. Tajudeen Ibikunle Lawal, while thanking the Minister of State for granting them audience stated that NURTW members suffered directly and indirectly during the pandemic and prayed that the Ministry concedes a larger portion of the palliative to its members.