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Fuel scarcity looms as NARTO directs tanker drivers to withdraw operations from today

The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, says it has directed all its members to withdraw their petroleum trucks from product-loading activities from Monday, February 19, 2024.

The development follows the association’s request for oil marketers to review freight rates.

NARTO had said despite the deregulation of the downstream sector, oil marketers have refused its request to review the rates.

Deregulation removes the government’s control over the prices of petroleum products and allows private entities to make decisions in the sector.

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.

“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”

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