The federal government has appealed to traders and transporters, not to hike prices of food items and cost of transportation, as the country battles to contain the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information, Culture, made the appeal at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja on Thursday.
He said it is necessary that market women and men understand the enormity of the time regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that there is need to show compassion to all Nigerians by not increasing prices of foodstuff and services.
The minister said the period is a time to give back to society, calling on Nigerians not to take the opportunity of the outbreak to further oppress fellow citizens.
“This is a time people are giving back to society. We call on our compatriots not to take the opportunity to oppress the people,” he urged.
Mohammed also urged the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NUTRW), to ensure that cost of transporting food items to other parts of the country are not jacked up.
He said it is regrettable that despite being aware of the danger posed by COVID-19, NUTRW members still flout the guidelines of the lockdown, as they carry passengers above the approved number.
The minister noted that some members of the union have refused to accept that COVID-19 is real, suggesting that it could be the reason for flouting the guidelines.
The minister called on state governors to engage NUTRW members in their states, in order to salvage the situation and contain the deadly virus.
“We need to carry NUTRW along. We cannot micromanage their activities in the state from the centre,” he said.
The minister urged commercial drivers and private car owners to carry only one passenger in front and two at the back seat.