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NARTO appeals to Minister of State for Petroleum on transportation challenges threatening its operations  

NARTO appeals to Minister of State for Petroleum on transportation challenges threatening its operations

By Yusuf Yunus

 

The National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has made a passionate appeal to the Minister of State for Petroleum, Heineken Lokpobiri to urgently intervene by addressing some of the challenges confronting the organization regarding the transportation of petroleum products across the country.

According to the letter which was signed by NARTO ‘s President, Yusuf Lawal Othman, it stated that one of the most pressing issues affecting the industry is the decreasing revenues due to rising operational costs and persistently low freight rates

The association in a letter dated, February 6, 2024, said if the problems are not tackled immediately they will have dire consequences on the supply of the products across the country, a situation it described would not be too palatable for the social and economic wellbeing of the nation.

“If these challenges are not addressed, they pose significant threats to the energy security and the stability of the transportation industry,”

The President said transporters are grappling with dwindling profits exacerbated by high inflation and economic pressures, stating that the situation has reached a critical juncture where many transporters are forced to take drastic measures, including cessation of operations.

He said that unfortunately, while these challenges remain, the Lagos State Government is planning to compound the association’s woes through its proposed truck e–call–up system as a solution to ease traffic congestion in Apapa and Tin Can Ports.

Under this proposed system, the President stated that transporters would be required to pay a sum of N15,000 to the system operator, further burdening an already strained financial industry.

“Moreover, there are growing concerns that other states along critical road corridors may follow suit and introduce similar charges to boost their internally generated revenue (IGR). Lagos, Ogun, and Oyo states charge an exorbitant N180,000 per truck each time a tanker breaks down or parks on their highways.”

This additional financial burden he said has threatened to push transporters to the brink, potentially leading to widespread disruption in Petroleum product distribution

“Considering this imminent threat to the nation’s energy security and the livelihood of countless individuals that dependent on the transport industry, I hereby appeal to the honourable minister to intervene.

Your leadership and influence is pivotal in finding a balanced and sustainable solution that safeguards the interest of all stakeholders involved.”

The NARTO boss appealed to the minister to consider reaching out to the Lagos State Government and other relevant authorities to reevaluate the proposed e-call-up truck system and any extra fees that may worsen the difficulties faced by transporters.

“By working together we can tackle the underlying problems and guarantee the smooth transportation of petroleum products through the nation,” he said.

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