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Petrol scarcity looms

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… NARTO begins warning strike

PETROL scarcity may surface across the country as the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners on Monday ordered tanker drivers nationwide to halt operations beginning from Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

 NARTO is the umbrella organisation of commercial vehicles owners engaged in the haulage of petroleum products, cargoes, and movement of goods and passengers within the country and the West-African sub region.

Its National President, Alhaji Yusuf Lawal Othman, who spoke to reporters in Abuja, said the association  was shocked by the recent Federal Government’s decision to ban petroleum trucks above 45,000 litres capacity from plying the roads.

Owing to the ban, he said the association would proceed on a warning strike today and issue a 10-day ultimatum on September 24, which would be followed by an indefinite strike.

The NARTO chief said: “In view of the above, we are, therefore, constraint to allow the decision of our members to park their trucks as from tomorrow 22nd to 23rd September 2020, prevail as warning, and furthermore, issue 10 days ultimatum with effect from September 24, 2020 for a full blown withdrawal of service.

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

According to him, the sudden ban is considered highly insensitive and unappreciative of the efforts and contributions of the NARTO members as businessmen and investors in the very critical and sensitive distribution and supply chains of petroleum products across the country.

He recalled that not too long ago and following the total collapse of petroleum products pipelines and strategic depots across the country as a result of the economic sabotage of the vandals, there was the painful era of petroleum products scarcity across the country.

Othman said it was in response to the socio/economic challenges of the scarcity era that the government in power then pleaded with private investors to assist in ameliorating the situation by ensuring that product scarcity is brought to the barest minimum.

He added that it was in response to the national call for service and in line with this mandate then that many of the association’s members took the initiative to invest heavily in expanding their fleet of various capacities to deliver products to all nook and crannies of this country.

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