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NARTO Orders Tanker Drivers to Halt Operations Starting Monday

February 18, 2024

Photo Credit: Punch 

The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has issued a directive instructing all its members to cease petroleum truck loading operations starting Monday, February 19, 2024.

The decision stems from NARTO’s ongoing negotiations with oil marketers regarding freight rates, which the association contends have not been adjusted despite the deregulation of the downstream sector. Deregulation, which relinquishes governmental control over petroleum product prices, grants private entities autonomy in decision-making within the sector.

Despite this shift, NARTO claims that oil marketers have resisted its calls for a review of freight rates, prompting the association to take decisive action.

The impending withdrawal of petroleum trucks raises concerns about potential fuel scarcity nationwide, as disruptions in supply chains could lead to shortages at gas stations and impact various sectors dependent on petroleum products.

The President also disclosed that NARTO’s efforts at soliciting the intervention of all the key stakeholders in the Federal Government and industry have not yielded positive results.

In a letter dated February 15, 2024, addressed to the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), NARTO said it can no longer continue with operations due to the state of the economy.

The association said several efforts made to get the freight rates for their operations reviewed have had no positive results.

We are deeply constrained to seek the support and understanding of your Union and members towards the excruciating challenges petroleum trucks owners are facing with the high operational costs in the Industry,”  the statement reads.

“As you are already aware of several efforts we have made to secure negotiations for appropriate and commensurate freight rates for our operations from all conceivable authorities concerned in the industry, most especially the Major Energy Marketers Association of Nigeria but which have received no positive responses from them.

“Othman revealed that the association has written letters to table the plight of unbearable cost of operation to the Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu; Minister of Petroleum Resources; Director General, Department of State Services (DSS); Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) Chief Executive Officer; Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) Group Chief Executive Officer; and the Marketers.

“We have written letters up to the level of the Chief of Staff. We have written to the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources (Oil) I will send you a copy,” he added.

“We have written to DG SSS. We have written to the GCEO. We have written to the Authority Chief Executive. We have written to the Major Marketers.”

He stressed that despite the notification to the above stakeholders, “No response.

“We have no other options but write to inform you that the NARTO National Executive Council (NEC) has resolved to direct all our members not to make their Petroleum Trucks available for Petroleum Products loading activities with effect from Monday, 19th day of February 2024.

“In the light of this directive, we implore all our employees (Petroleum Truck Drivers), who are your members to show maximum cooperation, support and understanding to our collective efforts for continued sustainability of the Petroleum Haulage business and effective service delivery by ensuring adequate and immediate compliance.”

NARTO added that “there is definitely no way we can continue in this business within the context of the current economic situation in the country”.

 

 

Credit: The Cable

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