Kelvin Osa Okunbor

National Association of Road Transport Owners  (NARTO) has urged drivers to withdraw services from Friday.

Its National President, Alhaji Yusuf Lawal Othman,  said the directive became imperative as part of measures taken by  Federal Government  to manage the identified cases of COVID-19 and curtail its spread.

The president also ordered drivers to stay away from petroleum depots nationwide. O

In a statement in Lagos, the NARTO boss said: “NARTO owes it a duty to take all necessary steps to minimise their exposure to the deadly virus and thus joined the Nigerian health authorities to curtail the spread of the disease in our country.

“At this daring time, NARTO would continue to monitor the trend of events as we also consider the safety and welfare of our employees who form the vulnerable and integral part of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.

‘’In compliance with government directive banning the gathering of more than 50 persons in one place, directive, we have similarly directed all our employees (tanker drivers) to keep away from the depots and stay at home with effect from Friday, March 27, 2020 pending when the situation is brought under control. This action is necessitated by the fact that our loading depots across the country are places of beehive of activities containing more than 500 persons at any one time.

“Our workers should be rest assured that the National Leadership of NARTO would stand by them at this critical moment as we equally implore them to be of good conduct and law abiding.

“Finally, we join millions of our country men and women in prayers against the continued proliferation of the disease throughout the world and, are confident in the capacity of our health institutions to address the challenges which Covid – 19 poses to our country and humanity as a whole.”