April 18, 2024

Fuel Scarcity Looms as NARTO Orders Withdrawal of Services Amid Soaring Operational Costs

 

By: Shabach Bako

 

The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has directed its members to halt petroleum product loading activities effective Monday, 19th February, in a move that could trigger a fuel scarcity crisis across the nation. This decision stems from the association’s struggle with soaring operational costs within the industry.

 

In a letter dated 15th February, addressed to the General Secretary of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) and signed by NARTO’s national President, Othman Yusuf, the association cited the high operational costs as the primary reason for the withdrawal. The letter, titled ‘Notice of withdrawal of operation,’ was also communicated to the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), the State Security Services (SSS), and the Executive Secretary of the Major Energy Marketers Association of Nigeria (NEMAN).

 

NARTO, representing commercial vehicle owners engaged in petroleum product haulage and transportation of goods and passengers, expressed concerns over the escalating diesel costs needed to power their trucks for the transportation of petroleum products across the country. The association conveyed its deep constraints within the current economic situation in Nigeria and emphasized the challenges faced in securing negotiations for appropriate freight rates.

 

The letter stated, “We have no other options but to 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.”

 

This move raises fears of an imminent fuel scarcity crisis, as NARTO’s withdrawal could severely impact the distribution of petrol and diesel nationwide. The association called on its members to cooperate and comply with the directive, stressing the urgency of collective efforts to sustain the petroleum haulage business amidst the challenging economic conditions.

 

As Nigeria grapples with the potential fallout of disrupted fuel distribution, stakeholders in the petroleum industry are urged to seek swift resolutions to address the concerns raised by NARTO and ensure the continued availability of fuel for the nation.

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