BEING ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT, ALH. YUSUF LAWAL OTHMAN AT THE INAUGURAL MEETING OF THE NEWLY CONSTITUTED NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL OF THE NIGERIAN ASSOCIATION OF ROAD TRANSPORT OWNERS (NARTO) HELD VIA ZOOM ON, ON THURSDAY 16TH JULY 2020
The Deputy President II & II
Chairman, Board of Trustees / NOC
All elected National Officers
New Members NEC (Designate)
The Executive Secretary
Management and Staff of National Secretariat
With profound gratitude and praises to Almighty God, I welcome you to the first meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC), taking place through the online medium. Many attempts were made in the past to convene this meeting, but it was not possible for two (2) reasons: The first was because the state elections were not concluded as scheduled on the election time table. Second, because of the sudden lockdowns and ban on large gatherings and interstate travel imposed by the governments at all levels in order to control the spread of COVID-19 Pandemic which broke out in Nigeria since February 2020. Mercifully, modern technology has offered the world a unique opportunity to interact via electronic means without having to be physically present. We shall continue to leverage on this facility to convene all future meetings until the situation is brought under control.
Today marks a significant watershed in the history of this Association. Having successfully conducted our elections in January we are now about to inaugurate the National Executive Council (NEC), the second-highest decision-making organ of the Association after the Annual General Congress (AGC), and set the ball rolling. Membership of this august body is based on merit; based on your individual passion and commitment to the yearnings of our members throughout the country. I, therefore, congratulate all of you for being considered worthy of appointment into this respected council. I hope to work together, in peace and harmony, we can collectively lift this Association to greater heights. According to a popular adage: “If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together”. I want you to join me on this journey so that we can go far.
I am fully conscious of the enormity of the responsibility vested in the office of the President of this Association; and that my success in the discharge of these responsibilities lies not only on my individual strength, knowledge or wisdom alone but in our collective efforts as a people committed to the realization of the goals and aspirations of the Association. I shall dedicate myself to the pursuit of what is right within the framework of teamwork, mutual respect and understanding with all people who would be relevant to the achievement of our noble objectives. I shall equally demand the same from all of you in order to succeed.
Firstly, with the help of God, I shall uphold and continue with the legacies of my predecessor in office through pragmatic engagements with our stakeholders, particularly the Federal Ministries of Transportation, Works and Housing, Petroleum and Natural Resources, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) etc. with whom we have maintained long peaceful and cordial relations. We shall, in due course extend the sphere of our patronage to include the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Trade and Investment and Central Bank of Nigeria CBN.
Secondly, while commending the efforts of this administration in the area of road constructions, we will continue to advocate and put pressure on them to hasten the completion of the repair and rehabilitation works going on across the country because good road network is critical to our operations and businesses. Therefore, this NEC shall engage the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing on the provision of good and motorable roads either through government budgetary system or road concession through the public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement or both.
Thirdly, we would continue to engage with the Federal Ministry of Transportation to get the federal government to create a revolving loan scheme for truck acquisition for transporters. As you are aware, previous government interventions have been in the area of mass transit segment only while haulage segment is completely neglected.
This NEC shall follow up with the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation on the directive to all smallholder transporters (Owners of one or two tracks) to register with NARTO. For too long many of these transporters who have not registered with the Association have gone to commit many fractions or even misdemeanour to which NARTO was made to accept responsibility. This must not be allowed to continue.
We shall explore the opportunities that lie in dry cargo business with a view to harnessing them. I am aware of the effort of my predecessor in office to develop this gold mine, I intend to forge ahead from where he stopped and with your support and co-operation, we shall succeed in making dry cargo segment as lucrative as the wet cargo or even more.
I am currently connecting with the management of the Central Bank of Nigeria on how our members can be contracted to take part in transporting Agric Inputs and Produce from the fields to the processing companies under the CBN Anchor Borrowers program. Presently only one individual has the exclusive rights of distributing these items.
As some of you who have been to Abuja recently would have noticed we have embarked on rehabilitation of the National Secretariat building in keeping pace with my predecessor’s effort of bequeathing an office building of comparable standard, and one which is safe for its occupants. Similarly, we are also overhauling our operational vehicles to enable them to operate optimally. In order to address the acute shortage of vehicles for our VIP’s, we have procured two (2) more vehicles that can be used to convey the National President and other Executives to important meetings without necessarily contracting the services of car hire owners.
We hope to continue with our predecessor’s policy on Staff Career Development and Training subject to availability of resources at our disposal. With increased sophistication in industrial relations and technology, our staff must be updated regularly through capacity building at home and abroad to equip them for better performance and motivation. I shall be discussing these issues with the Executive Secretary in due course.
We are already improving on our communications strategy as you can see from the creation of the new Domain Name through which we can communicate between ourselves easily. We have also subscribed for the usage of the Zoom facility to enable us to conduct virtual meetings anytime we want.
The above are our modest attempts to keep the tempo of activities running in order to effectively reposition the Association. I hope we will all join hands to drive the process together.
In conclusion, I would like to acknowledge and appreciate the guidance and support I have been receiving from the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) and the National Operations Coordinator, Alhaji (Dr.) Kassim Ibrahim Bataiya since my assumption of office. I wish to extend similar appreciation to all our elders who have, in one way or another, give us their valuable contributions.
Finally, I thank all of you for your support, co-operation and commitment to work together as a team until success is eventually achieved. I would like to commend the Executive Secretary and his team for their loyalty and hard work. I hope these will continue throughout our tenure and even beyond.
To the glory of God and for the continuous service to the Association and the Nation, I have the honour and privilege to declare this council inaugurated.
Up NARTO, Service to the Nation!
Service to the Nation, up NARTO!
Thank you for your attention
Alh. Yusuf Lawal Othman