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NARTO Suspends Planned Strike

 

The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has halted its plans for a nationwide strike, directing its members to commence operation immediately.

The suspension came after a Monday meeting between the Federal Government, stakeholders, and tanker drivers, who had ceased operations and halted the lifting of petroleum products due to severe economic conditions.

Members of NARTO had issued threats to shut down operations nationwide starting Monday, protesting against the soaring prices of Automotive Gas Oil, also known as diesel, which fuels their trucks for transporting petroleum products throughout Nigeria.

As with Premium Motor Spirit, better known as petrol, that has escalated to over N600 per litre, diesel prices have also soared, primarily because of the forex crisis affecting the country.

NARTO said it has directed all its members to withdraw their petroleum trucks from product-loading activities from Monday, February 19, 2024.

The association’s decision came in response to high operational costs in the industry, prompting a call for oil marketers to reassess freight charges.

A letter issued on February 15, 2024, reveals this information, with a signature from Othman Yusuf, the National President, and it is addressed to the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG).

According to NARTO, “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.

“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.

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“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.”

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