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We can’t continue to operate at a loss – NARTO

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…Threatens to down tool over high operating cost

 

The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has raised an alarm that its members are now operating at a loss when lifting petrol which they can no longer bear to operate.

NARTO’s National President, Alhaji Yusuf Lawal Othman, in a press statement issued in Abuja on Friday threatened to stop lifting petrol, starting Monday.

Othman warned that members would start parking their trucks from Monday.

He said, “What we spend on operation is more than what we get in total: both in local and bridging.

“We will have to suspend operations from now till Monday. We cannot continue to operate at a loss. Most people have parked. A lot more are going to the park.

“But from the point of view of the association itself, we are going to suspend operations on Monday.”

Regrettably, he said that NARTO’s efforts at soliciting the intervention of all the key stakeholders in the Federal Government and industry have not yielded positive results.

Othman further revealed that the association had written letters to table the plights of unbearable cost of operation to the Chief of Staff to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Minister of Petroleum Resources; Director General, Department of State Services (DSS); Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) Chief Executive Officer; Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) Group Chief Executive Officer; and the Marketers.

“We have written letters up to the level of the Chief of Staff. We have written to the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources (Oil). I will send you a copy.

“We have written to DG SSS. We have written to the GCEO. We have written to the Authority Chief Executive. We have written to the Major Marketers,” he said.

He stressed that despite the notification to the above stakeholders, none of these were responded to.

Analysing the market situation, which the members have endured for several months, he recalled that the same freight rate that was in force while President Muhammadu Buhari was in government is still subsisting.

According to him, the N32 Lagos to Abuja freight rate that was implemented while the dollar was N650 is still retained now that the dollar is N1,615.

He said, “Everybody is aware that all our consumables in terms of operation are not produced in the country. So, by virtue of the rate of dollars, every consumable has increased. But the freight they are paying us has been the same even during Buhari’s time.

“So how is that feasible? During Buhari’s time, the dollar was N650. Today, the dollar is now N1,615. The average freight from Lagos to Abuja.

Continuing, he explained that: “What I mean by local, you load Lagos, you discharge in Lagos. And bridging, you load from Lagos, you come to Abuja. Lagos to Lagos, we are paid N120,000.

“AGO alone to distribute fuel within Lagos is N140,000 because it is N1,400 per litre. So, they give you N120,000 and you spend N140,000. So, how do you want to operate? “Talk less of the cost of vehicles, cost of loading, driver’s allowance. That is for locals. For bridging Lagos to Abuja, they gave us N32.

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