PETROLEUM PRODUCT FREIGHT RISES BY 25%

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The Federal Government has approved a 25 percent increase in freight rate for petroleum products, raising it from N9.5 per litre to N11.87/litre, the National President of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Alhaji Yusuf Othman has disclosed.

Alhaji Othman who disclosed this at NARTO’s 22 Annual General Meeting in Abuja, yesterday, however lamented that the benefit from the increase has been wiped out by the hike in the price of diesel to N635 per litre.

He said with the rise in the cost of diesel due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the group may have to go back to the Federal Government for another review.

He noted that the “price of diesel is impacting on our business, not only us but all activities in Nigeria. This is because as at today fuel is imported into Nigeria and it is usually at the international price and everybody in Nigeria knows that the international price is now affected by the current war between Ukraine and Russia”.

While thanking the government for approving the increase, he pointed out that “the increase would not have been noticed due to the price of diesel but we know that this is temporary because of the war. So we are positive that in the nearest future, the increase will impact on our business. But if things continue to go up as it is now, we will have no option than to go back to the government”.

He said NARTO was in discussion with tanker divers to raise their salaries and allowances in order to create a good working environment in the sector.

He admitted that the NARTO members were operating under difficult business environment in the country.

“We are aware of the difficult conditions our members are operating in. We are doing everything possible to ease these difficulties. To this end, I am pleased to inform you that 25 percent increase in freight rate has been approved by the government. Though this might not be adequate but it is the best we can get under the existing PMS (premium motor spirit) Pricing Template of N165 per litre.

“Bad roads have continued to be a stumbling block towards the safe and efficient movement of goods, services, and passengers throughout the country. Many reports have been received of delays in meeting up critical delivery deadlines, vehicle breakdowns and accidents due to bad road conditions throughout the country”.

Away from the transportation of petroleum products, Alhaji Othman disclosed that with the collaboration of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), NARTO members in past one year successfully freighted 2,000 tons of fertilizers in 2020 from Lagos to different parts of the country, 14,000 tons of wheat seeds in 2021 from Lagos to different parts of the country and 41,431.60 tons of fertilizers in 2022 from Port Harcourt to different parts of the country.

He expressed satisfaction at the level of N621 billion NNPC Limited road intervention fund implementation, stressing that work has progressed well on the designated roads.

Earlier, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola assured the road transport owners that the government was working hard to ensure that the roads were put in good condition before the onset of the raining season.

On his part, the Chief Executive of Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Farouk Ahmed said: “The Authority is not unaware of the various challenges currently confronting the Petroleum Industry specifically with regards to Petroleum Products haulage and transportation, and we believe they are surmountable with dedication and selfless services from all key stakeholders”.

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