PRESS STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE NIGERIAN ASSOCIATION OF ROAD TRANSPORT OWNERS (NARTO) AFTER THE INAUGURATION OF ITS 3RD NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL (NEC) HELD ON FRIDAY 21ST APRIL, 2016
Gentlemen of the Press
Following a successful Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Association held on Friday 20th November, 2015 and elections into the executive council in almost all the states in the country, the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has re-constitute and inaugurated its National Executive Council (NEC) in accordance with section 17 (a) and (b0 of the Association’s constitution. The inauguration was performed at the Conference hall of the National Secretariat Annex, Plot 460 joseph Adetoro Street Utako, Abuja by 11:30 am on 21st April, 2016.
The inauguration which was followed by a joint meeting of State Chairmen and the NEC Members was attended by all the National officers, the patrons, other NEC Members and all State Chairmen and was presided over by the National president, Alhaji (Dr.) Kassim Ibrahim Bataiya (Durbin Albasu).
The highlights of the resolutions passed at the meeting are as follows:-
1. The NEC commended the Federal Government and the Nigerian Military for their efforts in the ongoing war against terror and urged all Nigerians to support Mr. President on this and give the Military all the required co-operation and assistance to consolidate on these achievements.
2. The NEC expressed its displeasure over the lingering fuel scarcity being experienced in the country and the attendant hardship it brought on the people. Similarly, the meeting noted the inability of the NNPC to end the scarcity despite repeated assurances as disappointing and totally unacceptable. It therefore called on government to empower the marketers by giving the required guarantees for them to source money from the banks and through the provision of Concessionary Foreign Exchange allocation to enable them import sufficient quantity that would meet the needs of the people.
3. NEC, also noted that the lingering fuel scarcity was partially due to lack of adequate consultations with relevant stakeholders in the Downstream Sector of the Petroleum Industry. The Association noted that since the beginning of the scarcity only one meeting was called by the Hon. Minister of State for petroleum resources to discuss the problem. We also observed that the Advisory Committee set up by the Hon. Minister to advise him on problems affecting the downstream sector operations did not include the actual players in the supply and distribution system. For sure, our Association is not on the committee. We therefore wonder how can anyone be more informed on matters of supply and distribution of Petroleum Products more than the transporters.
4. NEC observed with dismay that despite the near collapse of some of the Nigerian roads, particularly the Interstate Roads and Highways, the federal Government has failed to embark on their immediate repair and rehabilitation. We believe that one year was sufficient for the Federal Ministry of Works to determine the extent of dilapidation and disrepair and the scope of work to be carried out on them. It is a matter of great concern to us that lives and property are being lost on daily basis on our roads due mainly to the condition of the roads. Therefore we call on the Hon. Minister for Works to quickly make a major pronouncement on roads rehabilitation and reconstructions even as we await the passage of the 2016 Budget in order to give us the needed assurances that the problems would be addressed.
5. The NEC condemned in the strongest terms the wrongful imposition of N10, 000.00 (Ten Thousand Naira) vehicle entry permits on transporters for their trucks to enter into the port. The fee is exploitative and illegal because vehicle entry permit is embedded in the payments made by Importers, Licensed Customs Agent and Transporters in the delivery charges to the terminal Operators on the Lease/Concession Agreement already in place. The Management of NPA should also refund all the N10, 000 vehicle entry permits they have so far collected from transporters immediately. We call on the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and by extension of Federal Ministry of Transport to stop imposing the levy immediately or face any consequences the continued extortion may cause.
In conclusion, the NEC resolved to fully commit itself to the service of the Nation through prompt transportation of goods and services across the country and beyond as well depending the interests and rights of all transporters in the country.
Mr. Aloga I. Ogbogo