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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Tanker owners threaten fuel supply stoppage over operational costs

association warns of potential fuel scarcity as high diesel prices prompt transporters to halt operations starting next week

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The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has issued a dire warning of a potential fuel scarcity looming in Nigeria, as its members plan to cease the lifting of petroleum products starting next Monday. The decision comes in response to the exorbitant operational costs faced by transporters across the country.

NARTO members, responsible for transporting petroleum products nationwide, have repeatedly voiced concerns over the steep prices of diesel required to fuel their trucks. With diesel prices ranging between N1,250 and N1,400 per litre, the association contends that operational expenses far exceed revenue, making continued operations unsustainable.

In a statement from the association’s president, Yusuf Othman, NARTO officially declared its intention to suspend truck operations beginning Monday. Othman underscored the mounting financial losses incurred by members, emphasizing the urgency of addressing the disparity between operational costs and revenue.

Efforts to seek intervention from key stakeholders, including the federal government and industry operators, have thus far yielded no tangible solutions, according to Othman. Despite appeals to various government bodies and industry leaders, the association has received no substantive response to address the escalating crisis.

Othman highlighted the enduring challenges faced by transporters, citing stagnant freight rates amid escalating operational costs. The disparity between the current operational environment and the conditions prevailing during the previous administration exacerbates the financial strain on transporters, he noted.

Furthermore, NARTO emphasized the disproportionate burden placed on transporters involved in long-haul journeys, particularly those traversing from Lagos or Warri to other states. The disparity between government-mandated bridging claims and the actual operational expenses compounds the financial woes faced by transporters, exacerbating the precarious situation.

NARTO’s concerns reflect broader systemic challenges within Nigeria’s transportation infrastructure, impacting not only its members but also the efficiency and reliability of fuel supply chains. Issues ranging from poor road conditions to delayed payments and regulatory ambiguities underscore the urgent need for comprehensive reforms to safeguard the viability of the transport sector.

As Nigeria grapples with the looming threat of fuel scarcity, the standoff between transporters and authorities underscores the pressing need for collaborative solutions to address the systemic challenges plaguing the nation’s transportation ecosystem.

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