The Nigeria Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has called on the federal government to consider her request for an immediate review of the freight rate to enable transporters in the downstream sector to operate profitably.
The association urge the National Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NPRC) to note the request and accord it the urgency it requires to motivate the transporters towards better performance.
This was contained in the communique issued after her National Executive Council and State Chairmen Joint Meeting held in Shagamu, Oguin State recently. The meeting was held in Shagamu to honor the late Deputy National President of the association, Chief Ayoola Sadiku who died on 30th August, 2021 and whose final burial was scheduled the same period the meeting was held.
The association in the communique commended the recent effort by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing as well as FERMA for the palliative and maintenance on some federal roads across the nation aimed at ensuring safety, free flow of traffic during the Xmas and New Year celebrations
NARTO calls on the Federal Road Safety Corps and other road safety agencies to double their efforts towards preventing accidents and fatalities during these festive periods.
“We commend the federal government and all security agencies for their efforts at addressing the current security challenges affecting the nation. We therefore call on the government not to rest on its oars until all criminals are stopped from fomenting trouble and killing people under whatever guise”, the association said.
NARTO also congratulates the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for successfully completing the distribution of wheat seeds to farmers in preparation for this year’s dry season farming. The association assure the CBN and other business partners of our reliability, efficiency, and integrity in our dealings with clients always.
NARTO at the NEC meeting congratulated the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on his nomination into the governing board of the Nigerian Petroleum Company (NPC). “We also commend NNPC for the initiative of investing their tax credit into the funding of the country’s road infrastructure”, NARTO said.
Meanwhile, the association has once again condoled the family and friends of her late Deputy National President, Chief Ayoola Sadiku over his sudden demise and pray to God to give the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
The association has decried the state of the bad roads across the country, saying notwithstanding the efforts of the Federal government, through the Federal Ministry of Works, in rehabilitation, construction, and re-construction of roads across the country, the condition of most of the roads was becoming worse.
“As a result of the bad roads, vehicles, particularly trucks, find it difficult to reach their destinations on time; trucks sometimes spend five days on one spot; for example, before they reach their destinations. The implication of this is that a supply gap is likely to occur, due to inability to meet delivery timelines. In the case of petroleum products, this situation can lead to scarcity of the products while in the case of dry cargo trucks, perishable products can get spoilt”, Narto noted.
The association said “another problem caused by bad roads is that it facilitates accidents and create a favorable condition for armed robbers, bandits, and kidnappers to operate freely on the highway. Because of the size of the potholes on the roads, the rate of wear and tear of the vehicles becomes much faster, which makes it difficult to maintain while their useful working life becomes much shorter.
“Members are worried about the rising cost of diesel that the trucks use for fuel which represent about 60% increase over the price in October 2020. Diesel is a basic input in our operations and increases our running cost. This makes it difficult for the transporters to break even since the cost of freight is fixed by the Petroleum Products Pricing Agency (PPPRA).
“The country does not manufacture vehicles, what they do is to assemble vehicles from imported components and parts. Consequently, vehicles and spare parts are imported at prices that are quoted in foreign currency. Meanwhile, the exchange rate had risen by over 50% during the past one year. As a result, buying spare parts and other vehicle components such as batteries and tyers is very difficult while vehicle replacement becomes virtually impossible for most transporters.
The association also expressed worry over the rate of at which tanker explosions take place in the country due to the highly inflammable material catching fire whenever there is impact or crashes. The association stated emphatically that the requirement by the Federal Road Safety corps (FRSC) for tanker truck owners to install safety valves on their vehicles is the only viable solution to stop oil spillage during crashes.
“Members are worried about the increasing rate of insecurity in the country such insurgency, banditry, armed robbery, kidnapping, and communal clashes. Many drivers were either killed or injured while the vehicles were snatched in many parts of the country.
In view of the incessant tanker crash, NARTO direct all petroleum tanker transporters to immediately comply with Federal Roads Safety Corps requirement of installing safety valves on their trucks before the given deadline of 1st February 2022.
“No truck will be allowed to load products from any loading facilities with effect from that date. The Association, as a law-abiding organisation, is committed to supporting this decision”, NARTO said.