Another fuel scarcity looms - FAITH ADAMA'S BLOG

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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Another fuel scarcity looms

*transporters threaten to withdraw services

Unless urgent steps are taken to avert an imminent short down, the nation may soon witness another round of scarcity of Petroleum products across the country as members of the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) have threatened to withdraw their services within the next seven days if the Petroleum Equalisation Fund and oil marketers failed to pay them outstanding liabilities.

National President of NARTO, Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim Bataiya told a news conference in Abuja that the decision to withdraw their services was the last option available to them having held series of meeting and written several correspondences on the issue with the concerned organisation without positive response.
Bataiya said members of the association has exhisted their patience as their businesses are gradually been grounded due to the debt owed them.
He asked the Petroleum Equalisation Fund to immediately commence the full payment of transporters’ claims as well as the accumulated outstanding at the rate applicable from 2011 to 2015 and conclude the review of the freight rate in accordance with the bridging fund approved by the government.
According to him, the association is also demanding that all marketers that settled transporters’ claims based on the rejected and withdrawn freight rate should reimburse their transporters immediately with the difference while those who are yet to pay should do so immediately.
He accused the management of NNPC Retails of leading the pack that have refused to pay transporters and asked them to take all necessary steps to review and improve on their payment procedures.
Bataiya also asked the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria to prevail on their members to stop charging their transporters good in service Insurance premium in the spirit of the agreement mutually reached in 2005, adding that all such premium deduction from 2006 to 2016 should be refunded to his members immediately.
While insisting that they have exhausted all available means of dialogue, he said the Association has not approached the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment because it was not a trade union, but a registered company limited by guarantee, adding however that the Petroleum Pricing and Regulatory Agency that regulate the downstream sector was fully aware of the issues.
He asked for understanding from members of the public, but insisted that they were not embarking on any form of strike, but will simply park their trucks and refuse to lift petroleum to any part of the country.
He said with the failure of the NNPC to pump fuel through its pipeline, they currently rely on trucks belonging to his members to supply 98 percent of the petroleum products consume in the country.

(The Nation)

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