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Petroleum Tanker drivers, NARTO suspend planned strike

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The Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) and the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) have suspended their plan to embark on strike.

Petroleum tanker drivers had last week threatened to stop work nationwide if the Nigerian government does not immediately rehabilitate 21 major roads captured in the N621 billion NNPC Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme.

Salmon Oladiti, national chairman of PTD, at a press briefing in Abuja last Wednesday said the union had earlier issued an ultimatum to the government on the deplorable state of federal highways and the painful experiences of their members commuting across the country.

Mr Oladiti said the intended strike would happen at very short notice since the agreement on fixing 21 critical roads across the country through the NNPC reached in October 2021 had not been met.

In a statement late Thursday, the NNPC announced that the two organisations had suspended their planned industrial action after the state oil company intervened.

It said the decision was reached after talks between NARTO, PTD, NUPENG, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority and NNPC.

The communique issued at the end of the engagement agreed that the NNPC should provide updates on the current status of the road construction and rehabilitation projects under the road infrastructure tax credit scheme and assured that the funding earmarked for the 21 critical roads will be applied for the intended purpose only.

The parties also requested for completion of the ongoing discussion on the review of the freight rates to cover operational costs and highlighted the precarious situation that truck owners face in light of current economic realities.

The document reads: “Following the engagement between NMDPRA, NNPC, PTD, NARTO, and NUPENG, the parties resolved as follows:

Road Rehabilitation: NNPC provided updates on the current status of the road construction and rehabilitation projects under the road infrastructure tax credit scheme and assured the stakeholders (NUPENG, NARTO and PTD) that the funding earmarked for the 21 critical roads will be applied for the intended purpose only.
“To allay the fears of the stakeholders, NNPC and all parties commit to working together in the monitoring of the road projects.

Review of freight rate for transporters: The stakeholders requested for completion of the ongoing discussion on the review of the freight rates to cover operational costs and highlighted the precarious situation that truck owners face in the light of current economic realities; NMDPRA informed the meeting that a committee has been constituted to review the rates which include PTD, NARTO and NUPENG in addition to other stakeholders.

“All parties agreed to work expeditiously towards concluding the review of the freight rate and make recommendations to the Government. The Authority to advise on a definite close-out date during the week of 21st February 2022.

“Collaboration on ensuring Nationwide availability of petroleum products: All parties agreed to work closely to ensure efficient distribution of petroleum products across the country.”

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