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Major oil marketers rally tanker drivers for smooth operations



Fuel marketers under the aegis of Major Energies Marketers Association of Nigeria (MEMAN) have assured tanker owners of a cordial relationship to ensure smooth lifting of petroleum products.

The group, in a statement signed by its Executive Secretary, Mr Clement Isong, on Tuesday in Lagos said that individual marketers are currently in discussions with their transporters for fair rates of lifting products.

It was reported that the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) had initiated strike action on Feb. 19.

NARTO had requested that oil marketers review the freight rates after the deregulation of the downstream sector.

Isong said: “There’s no conflict between our members and the transport unions. Individual marketers are in discussions with their transporters for fair rates, adhering to the Petroleum Industry Act and FCCPC Act, which prohibits jointly setting rates.

“Pump price deregulation promotes healthy competition, encouraging cost-reduction measures for better customer value. It’s a gradual process that requires time for full price recovery and market competition.

“All stakeholders, including operators and MDAs, must collaborate to optimise the supply chain for affordability amid the challenging environment.

“MEMAN and its members recognise the industry’s complexities and commit to sustainable solutions in cooperation with relevant stakeholders.”

Meanwhile, queues for petrol have resurfaced in some parts of Lagos following the strike action.

Some of the filling stations on Ikorodu Road; Bank Anthony Way, Ikeja; Bariga; Mushin and Ojota were besieged by customers, while many were rationing products, selling with either one pump or two.

Others have shut their stations due to lack of products.

NAN also recalls that on Feb. 6, NARTO made a passionate appeal to the Minister of State for Petroleum, Heineken Lokpobiri, to urgently intervene by addressing some of the challenges confronting the organisation regarding the transportation of petroleum products across the country.

According to the letter which was signed by NARTO’s President, Yusuf Othman, one of the most pressing issues affecting the industry is the decreasing revenues due to rising operational costs and persistently low freight rates.

Under this proposed system, Othman said that transporters would be required to pay a sum of N15,000 to the system operator, further burdening an already strained financial industry.

“Moreover, there are growing concerns that other states along critical road corridors may follow suit and introduce similar charges to boost their internally generated revenue (IGR).

“Lagos, Ogun, and Oyo states charge an exorbitant N180,000 per truck each time a tanker breaks down or parks on their highways,” Othman said.

According to him, this additional financial burden has threatened to push transporters to the brink, potentially leading to widespread disruption in petroleum product distribution.

Yusuf Yunus

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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