NARTO kicks against government plan to ban heavy duty trucks on roads — commences warning strike

Segun Oladipupo     |    

The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has stated the reason why the organisation embarked on a two-day warning strike.

The group, which engages in haulage of petroleum products, general cargoes and movement of goods and passengers within Nigeria and other West African countries, noted that thereafter, it would issue a 10- day ultimatum for a complete industrial action  if the government does not bulge to the warning strike.

The goverment had complained that 45,000 litres capacity  trucks are too heavy for the roads hence the need to phase them out with immediate effect.

According to the organisation, it ought to be given enough time to be able to negotiate and regularise before the policy takes effect.

Speaking with our correspondent on phone over the development, National President of NARTO, Alhaji Yusuf Othman, said that the group has decided to embark on warning strike because of the move by government to phase out 45,000 litres capacity trucks from plying the roads

The National.President had reportedly said that the body considered it as 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 however added that the group was in negotiation with the government to resolve the issue, saying members of the group are business men who are not ready for problems with the governmemt.

NARTO stated that following the total collapse of petroleum products pipelines and strategic depots across the country as a result of the economic sabotage by vandals, 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.

It stressed that it was in response to the call that many of its members took the initiative to invest heavily in expanding their fleet of various capacities to deliver products to all nooks and crannies of the country.

It said: “Our members took loans from various commercial banks with very high interest rates and with no form of support from the government. We were doing it for the sake of the country and we all achieved the desired goal of removing scarcity of petroleum products and its attendant long queues from our streets and communities.

“It is, therefore, distressing and discouraging that when it was discovered along the line that one of the side effects of our efforts to fix the problem is the fact that our roads were not built to accommodate vehicles that carry loads in excess of 30 tonnes.

“The new government now wants to impose and introduce a new policy about maximum capacity on our roads. The government is doing so without any consideration for the plights of our members and other attendant effects.”

It noted that though it is not against the decision of the federal government to ban the use of truck more than 45,000 litre- capacity in the conveyance of petroleum products, considering the dilapidated state of Nigerian roads,but said it was particularly concerned about the sudden nature of the ban.

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