NIGERIAN ASSOCIATION OF ROAD TRANSPORT OWNERS (NARTO)
NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL NEC/STATE CHAIRMEN JOINT MEETING HELD ON SATURDAY 16TH OCTOBER ,2021 AT NANDAS HOTEL, SAGAMU, OGUN STATE
The 3rd Quarter joint meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) and State Chairmen of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) was held on Saturday, 16th October 2021 at NANDAS Hotel, Sagamu, Ogun State. The meeting was well attended by all NEC members and State Chairmen from the various states.
The purpose of holding the meeting in Sagamu against the choice of any state capital as is the custom of the Association, was to honor the late Deputy National President, Chief Ayoola Sadiku who died on 30th August, 2021 and whose final burial was scheduled to take place on 16th October, 2021.
The program of the day began with a group condolence visit to the family of late Chief Ayoola Sadiku where prayers (in both Christian and Muslim manner) were said for the repose of his soul and to comfort his family and relatives. Thereafter, the opening ceremony of the meeting commenced at about 12:00 am where the National President welcomes all participants and gave a rundown of activities of the leadership of the Association during the period under review.
Hon. (Dr) Joseph Akinlaja attended the meeting where he represented the National Chairman of Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) Branch of NUPENG. The Association owes Hon. (Dr) Joseph Akinlaja a lot of gratitude for his priceless counsel on the need to forge unity, understanding and co-operation amongst members. The Association is happy that this sincere counsel from Hon. (Dr) Joseph Akinlaja is what is needed to achieve the Association’s strategic objectives.
In the technical session that followed the opening ceremony, members deliberated on several issues, many of which constitute key challenges that our members face while running their businesses. During the meeting, it was observed as follows:
- Bad Roads: 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, vehicles, particularly trucks, find it difficult to reach their destinations on time; trucks sometimes spend 5 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.
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.
- Cost of Diesel/AGO: 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).
- Cost of Foreign Exchange: 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.
- Installation of Safety Valves on Tanker Trucks: Members are concerned about the rate of at which tanker explosions take place in this country due to the highly inflammable material catching fire whenever there is impact or crashes. They agreed 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.
- Rising Insecurity: 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.
After a thorough deliberations of all the above issues, members agreed to make the following resolutions:
- 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.
- We call on the federal government to consider our request for an immediate review of the freight rate to enable transporters in the downstream sector to operate profitably. The yet to be inaugurated National Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NPRC) should note this request and accord it the urgency it requires to motivate the transporters towards better performance.
- The recent effort by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing as well as FERMA for the palliative /maintenance on some federal roads across the nation aimed at ensuring safety, free flow of traffic during the Xmas and new year celebrations is highly commendable. 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 meeting congratulates the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for successfully completing the supply/distribution of wheat seeds to farmers in preparation for this year’s dry season farming. We assure the CBN and other business partners of our reliability, efficiency, and integrity in our dealings with clients always.
- Condole the family and friends of the Late Deputy National President of the Association, Chief Ayoola Sadiku over his sudden demise and pray to God to give the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
- Congratulate the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on his nomination into the governing board 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.
In conclusion, members were unanimous in their prayers for the unity and peaceful co-existence of all Nigerians at home and abroad. They believe that the great potentials of Nigeria can only be realized in an atmosphere governed by principles of equity, justice, and respect for the sanctity of human life. Members believe that to achieve development, economic prosperity and greatness require the collective resolve of all Nigerians and not that of the government alone. Therefore, both government and the citizens must play their roles appropriately if we want to realize the Nigeria of our dreams.