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Home ENERGY Fuel Crisis Looms as Tanker Owners Set To Stop Lifting Petrol

Fuel Crisis Looms as Tanker Owners Set To Stop Lifting Petrol

Nigerians may be in for another petrol scarcity as the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has hinted at plans to stop lifting petrol from Monday.

The association’s National President, Alhaji Yusuf Lawal Othman, dropped the hint in a statement on Thursday I. Abuja.

NARTO cited unsustainable operational costs as the primary reason, saying its members have been operating at a loss, prompting the need to halt operations.

“We cannot continue to operate at a loss. Most people have parked. A lot more are going to park,” the statement tersely said.

The association said its efforts to engage key government officials and other stakeholders, including the Chief of Staff to the President and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources on the matter were being rebuffed.

Stating reasons for the course of action, Othman highlighted the stagnant freight rates amidst soaring operational expenses.

According to him, the freight rates have remained static since the previous administration, despite the significant increase in the value of the dollar.

Othman said with operational costs outweighing earnings, NARTO members are facing substantial losses, making it financially unsustainable to continue operations.

According to him, the N32 Lagos to Abuja freight rate that was implemented while the dollar was N650 is still being retained now that 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 consumables 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, dollar was N650. Today, dollar is noe N1,615. The average freight from Lagos to Abuja is N32.”

He added: “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 (diesel) 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 cost of vehicles, cost of loading, driver’s allowance. That is for local. For bridging, Lagos to Abuja, they gave us N32.

“If you have truck of 40,000 litres, you are talking of N1,280,000-N1,216,000. Less 5% of the amount of N1,280,000 Withholding Tax N64,000. Less 55,000 loading expenses and 15,000 driver allowance. Total expenses N134,000 while balance is N1,146,000. AGO is N1400 for 900 litres, totalling N1260,000.

“There is a total loss of N114,000.
The diesel that you use from Lagos to Abuja is 900 litres. So when you use 900 litres at 1,400, that will be N1,260,000. So it is by far more than what are paid.

“Meanwhile the cost of a truck; new truck head and tank is N95 million and used is N50 million.So imagine the amount invested on each truck?”

The association is responsible for the haulage of petroleum products throughout the country.

Othman said NARTO members would be parking their trucks from Monday, stressing, “Why? Because what we spend on operation is more than what we get in total: both in local and bridging.”

According to him, the members have been operating at a loss and that they cannot continue to bear the losses.

The NARTO President said: “We will have to suspend operations latest from now till on Monday.

“We cannot continue to operate at a loss. Most people have parked. A lot more are going to park. But from the point of the association itself, we are going to suspend operations on Monday.”

Othman revealed that the association also made attempts to seek audience with the 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.

He however regretted that the heads of the agencies listed above declined to grant audience to NARTO, just as the Chief of Staff to the President and the Petroleum Minister ignored them.

He said: “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 the 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.”

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