The Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki disclosed that the Federal Government has approved N10 billion survival fund for transport workers and operators.

She made this disclosure in Abuja when National Executive Committee and Trustees of Public Transport Owners of Nigeria led by the association’s President, Isaac Uhunwagho to pay her a courtesy call.

According the minister, the funds would help cushion the sufferings encountered by road transport workers and operators as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by Anastasia Ogbonna on behalf of the ministry’s director of public relations, Saraki said the fund was domiciled with the Federal Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment.

She also stated that the Federal Ministry of Transportation was currently working on the modalities for its disbursement.

The minister noted that about 90 per cent of Nigerians travel by road, adding that government would soon initiate a master plan to reform the sector. On the challenges operators face from state governments and other stakeholders, Saraki assured her guests that she would discuss the issues through the National Transport Commissioners Forum.

The Minister further disclosed that she was in talks with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing for the concession of some routes, which according to her, was the best way to increase government revenue.

On his part, Uhunwagho said their visit was with respect to the challenges faced by the body. He therefore pleaded for COVID-19 financial palliatives for members of the association in order to prevent the collapse of their businesses.

In another development, the ministry announced that Saraki had been chosen to champion the work-stream on road transport infrastructure and services in readiness for African Continental Free Trade Area single continental market for goods and services in Africa.