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Fuel scarcity looms as NARTO declares petroleum transporters’ strike amid soaring operational costs



NARTO Declares Petroleum Transporters' Strike Amid Soaring Operational Costs: Fuel Scarcity Looms

Fuel scarcity looms as NARTO declares petroleum transporters’ strike amid soaring operational costs


In a bid to address the dire economic challenges plaguing Nigeria’s petroleum industry, the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has issued a resolute directive to its members, mandating them to halt the loading of petroleum products effective Monday, February 19, 2024. This drastic measure, stemming from the crippling burden of skyrocketing operational costs, threatens to unleash fuel scarcity and exacerbate the nation’s economic woes.

In a formal communiqué addressed to the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), NARTO lamented the insurmountable hurdles gripping the sector, rendering their operations financially untenable. The missive underscored the association’s relentless pursuit of viable solutions to mitigate these challenges, including fervent appeals to relevant authorities for a sustainable adjustment in freight rates. Regrettably, these entreaties have fallen on deaf ears, exacerbating the plight of petroleum truck owners.

Quoting excerpts from the correspondence, NARTO articulated its poignant plea, stating, “We are deeply constrained to seek the support and understanding of your union and members towards the excruciating challenges petroleum truck owners are facing with the high operational costs in the industry.” Despite relentless efforts to engage key stakeholders, such as the Major Energy Marketers Association of Nigeria, in constructive dialogues, the resounding silence has left NARTO with no recourse but to initiate this decisive course of action.

Echoing the gravity of the situation, NARTO’s National Executive Council (NEC) unanimously endorsed the directive, compelling members to withhold their petroleum trucks from loading activities, effective February 19, 2024. The association implored petroleum truck drivers, who are integral members of NUPENG, to extend unwavering support in solidarity with NARTO’s quest for sustainable viability within the petroleum haulage sector.

The ramifications of NARTO’s impending strike reverberate across the nation, with the specter of fuel scarcity looming ominously. Such an outcome threatens to unleash a domino effect, triggering inflationary pressures and impeding economic growth trajectories. The ramifications extend beyond mere inconvenience, posing a formidable threat to the socioeconomic fabric of Nigeria.

In a concerted effort to avert this impending crisis, the Federal Government, in collaboration with downstream regulators and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, is poised to convene a high-stakes meeting in Abuja on Monday. This crucial summit aims to foster constructive dialogue, facilitating a harmonious resolution to the impasse between NARTO and pertinent stakeholders. The deliberations aspire to chart a pragmatic pathway forward, one that safeguards the interests of all parties while ensuring the uninterrupted flow of petroleum products vital to Nigeria’s economic vitality.

Against the backdrop of escalating tensions and mounting apprehensions, the nation stands at a pivotal juncture, poised between the precipice of economic instability and the promise of collaborative resolution. The outcome of Monday’s deliberations holds profound implications, not merely for the petroleum industry, but for the collective welfare and prosperity of Nigeria as a whole.

As the clock ticks inexorably towards the fateful hour, stakeholders brace themselves for a pivotal reckoning, acutely aware of the stakes at hand. In the crucible of adversity, the resilience and ingenuity of Nigeria’s populace are poised to emerge triumphant, navigating the turbulent currents towards a brighter, more prosperous horizon.

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