Yusuf Lawal, the President of the Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), explained that the union ended its strike due to patriotism and intervention from the Federal government, despite operating at a loss due to subsidy removal and the rising dollar cost.

NARTO
NARTO

He urged the federal government to address the challenges faced by tanker drivers and formulate policies to enhance their services.

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Representing NARTO at a meeting with the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) in Abuja, Kassim Bataiya, the National Operations Coordinator, emphasized that the current reliance on petroleum tanker trucks for 100 percent of petroleum product movement has led to busy, deteriorating roads, making it challenging for truck drivers to operate.

Bataiya elaborated on the financial difficulties faced by transporters, especially petroleum transporters, citing high maintenance costs, expensive spare parts, poor road conditions, and security concerns.

He highlighted the adverse impact of the high dollar exchange rate on their operations, as they are forced to purchase dollars from the black market for truck accessories.

He also mentioned the challenges arising from the Petroleum Industry Act, emphasizing the need for negotiations between marketers and transporters for the payment of fret. Despite efforts to engage with marketers, no agreement was reached, leading to the strike.

After a closed-door meeting with the National Association of Transport Owners (NARTO) and Petroleum Retail Outlet Owners (PETROAN), the chairman of the committee, Hon Ikenga Ugochinyere, revealed that the committee resolved to monitor the ongoing repair of the national refineries and investigate issues related to middlemen causing a rise in petrol prices.

Legislative actions were proposed to address freight cost reduction, dredging of seaports, pipeline reactivation, modern technology adoption, and amendments to the Petroleum Industry Act for stakeholder inclusion in the downstream sector.

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