Fuel scarcity looms as govt bans big-capacity trucks

NARTO is particularly concerned about the sudden and prompt nature of the ban.
Fuel scarcity

The fuel shortage is likely to emerge in the nation soon, as truck drivers have been directed by the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) to begin a strike with effect from Tuesday.

Yusuf Othman, national president of NARTO, told members in Abuja on Monday to call off activities on Tuesday and Wednesday as a gesture of resistance against the recent government bar on fuel trucks operating in the country with their capacity exceeding 45,000 litres.

“We are therefore constrained to allow the decision of all our members to park their trucks as from tomorrow, 22nd to 23rd September, 2020, to prevail as warning,” said Othman, whose group has an obligation to facilitate petroleum products haulage, goods and passengers transport and general freight services in the country and across West Africa.

“And furthermore, issue 10-day ultimatum with effect from 24th September, 2020, for a full-blown withdrawal of service…

“If such scenarios occur, we earnestly plead with those who will lose employment, income and the general public that will be negatively affected by this avoidable situation.”

NARTO’s resentment derives from the Nigerian government’s imperious move, which disregarded its contributions and significance to the distribution segment of the fuel value chain.

“NARTO is particularly concerned about the sudden and prompt nature of the ban.

We consider the approach to be highly insensitive to the huge investments the owners of these trucks have made and debts they incurred in executing the mandate given by previous administration.”

The labour group stated that the proscription of trucks could have grave implications for members’ welfare, noting that 40,000 jobs might be lost.