The national leadership of Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners said it had directed its employees to withdraw their services from fuel depots as part of efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.
NARTO, in a statement on Wednesday, signed by its President, Alhaji Yusuf Othman, said it was concerned about the safety and health of all its employees, adding that it “owes it a duty to take all necessary steps to minimise their exposure to the deadly virus.”
It noted that the Federal Government has taken a number of measures to manage the identified cases of COVID-19 and contain its spread.
The union said it 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.”
It said, “In its determination to control the spread of the disease, the Federal Government has banned all public meetings of 50 persons and above in any one place.
“In compliance with this 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.”
NARTO assured its workers that it 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,” it added.