Rivers: Hardship bites commercial drivers as coronavirus crushes patronage

By Brave Dickson

Commercial bus and taxi drivers in Rivers State have been thrown into sever hardship following what they called extremely low patronage occasioned by the state government’s measures to prevent the spread of covid-19 in the state.

The commercial drivers identified the closing down of the state borders and other economic activities as factors responsible for the low patronage they are experiencing.

The state Chairman, Drivers Welfare Association of Nigeria, Mr Lekia Isaac told our correspondent that commercial bus and taxi drivers now find it difficult to feed their families because the restricting measures put in place by government have paralysed transport business.

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He said: “We welcome the moves by the government to prevent the spread of covid-19 in the state but we, the commercial drivers are at the receiving end as such measures have kicked us out of business.

“Since the restricting measures were put in place, I can tell you that to make N2,000 a day is difficult; and how can drivers who are making returns to their vehicle owners survive?”

The drivers, therefore, appealed to Governor Nyesom Wike to help cushion the effect of their suffering by prevailing on the ticketing agencies to reduce the cost from N300 to N100.

They also appealed to Wike to help subsidise the cost of petrol in a way they can buy for N80 per litre, noting that such incentives would help them a lot.