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Petrol Tanker Owners Suspend Strike After Freight Increase

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The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has suspended its industrial action after a two-day engagement with the federal government at the instance of the

minister of state for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri.

The national president of NARTO, Yusuf Lawal Othman, who disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday, also confirmed that the marketers have increased the freight rate of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from N32.

The two-day meeting, convened by Lokpboribi, also had in attendance key stakeholders in the downstream sector, including the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA); representatives of the Major Energy Marketers Association of Nigeria (MEMAN), Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and others.

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The transporters had embarked on a strike action on Monday, stating that it was impossible to continue in the business within the context of the current economic situation in the country.

Othman said since the marketers were still calculating the actual figure, he could not state a particular amount of the new freight rate.

He noted that the association would direct its members to start lifting petrol immediately.

Othman said, “I would like to confirm that we have reached some meeting point with the marketers.

“They have provided additional increases to our present freight rate. But there is room for improvement.

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“At this point we have agreed to suspend the withdrawal of operations. We will commence operations immediately.”

Speaking earlier, Lokpobiri noted that owing to the stakeholders’ engagement, the strike has been suspended.

He said, “I want to announce to the Nigerians that after consultations with the stakeholders, we have come to the conclusion that the strike should be called-off.”

On his part, Senator Lokpobiri said that all the issues the association raised were addressed, stressing that the government has commenced the payment of outstanding bridging claims.

He pledged that by the middle of March, the government would have finished paying the outstanding claims.

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Lokpobiri said, “We have started paying some bridging claims. As we get more money, we will continue to pay.

“By the middle of next month we would have been done with the payment. We asked those that are owing to pay us so that members, who are supplying products across the country will be able to do that.”

He said the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited will continue to ensure there is product availability in the country.

Similarly, the NMDPRA boss confirmed that the freight rate was increased for the association because of the increase of the cost of fueling trucks and cost of diesel.

He noted that since March 2022 of the last freight increase the price of diesel has risen from N700 per litre to N1,400 today.

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He explained that as NARTO requested an increase in freight, the Authority advised it to engage the marketers whom they service to increase the rate.

Ahmed said because the marketers were reluctant to increase the freight, NARTO stopped operation but after the meeting with the marketers they agreed on the freight increase.

He added that “Some of them have agreed on the rate. NNPCL has agreed with them. Total has agreed. Two other marketers have agreed. “The conclusion today is to call off the strike.”



Source link: Leadership

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