Fuel scarcity looms as NARTO begins strike Tuesday

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A fuel station attendant dispenses kerosene at a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) mega petrol station in Abuja January 23, 2015. The NNPC commenced sale of kerosene cooking fuel, which a majority of Nigerians depend on for cooking, at a reduced pump price of $0.27 per litre nationwide at all NNPC outlets. REUTERS/ Afolabi Sotunde (NIGERIA - Tags: ENERGY BUSINESS) - RTR4MO8Q

Scarcity of petroleum is imminent as the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) begins a warning strike from Tuesday.

NARTO is the umbrella organisation of all commercial vehicles owners engaged in the haulage of petroleum products, general cargoes and movement of goods and passengers within Nigeria and the West-African sub region.

Its National President, Alhaji Yusuf Lawal Othman broke the news to reporters in Abuja.

He said the association will embark on the strike to protest recent decision by the Federal Government to place immediate ban on all petroleum trucks above 45,000 litres capacity from plying roads.

He said the association will issue a 10-day ultimatum on September 24 that will be followed by indefinite strike.

Othman described the sudden ban as insensitive and unappreciative of efforts and contributions of NARTO members as investors in the very critical and sensitive distribution and supply chains of petroleum products across the country.

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According to him: “Our members took loans from various commercial banks with very high interest rates and with no form of support from 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 is 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 tons and the new government now want 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.”

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