Looming Fuel Scarcity as Tanker Drivers Threaten to Stop Lifting Petrol, Announce Shutdown Date

Looming Fuel Scarcity as Tanker Drivers Threaten to Stop Lifting Petrol, Announce Shutdown Date

  • Petroleum products tanker drivers in Nigeria have threatened to suspend operations from Monday, February 19
  • The drivers lament high operating costs and other challenges as reasons for their decision to stop lifting petrol
  • If the association carries out its directive next week, Nigerians may face an imminent fuel scarcity across the country

Legit.ng journalist Victor Enengedi has over a decade's experience covering Energy, MSMEs, Technology and the stock market.

The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, has announced its decision to halt operations starting Monday, February 19.

Alhaji Yusuf Othman, the union's National President, conveyed this decision in a press release issued in Abuja on Thursday.

This is as Legit.ng had reported that some filling stations across the country have adjusted petrol pump prices to as much as N700 per litre.

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Some Nigerians are already getting apprehensive of an imminent fuel scarcity. Photo credit - NUPENG
Source: UGC

NARTO lists reasons for decision to shutdown

Othman cited the considerable operational expenses and inadequate government assistance as the primary reasons compelling their members to temporarily withdraw their tanker operations starting next Monday.

Othman said:

“We’re parking our trucks because what we spend on operation is more than what we get in total: both in local and bridging.”
"We cannot continue to operate at a loss. Most people have parked. A lot more are going to park.
“But from the point of the association itself, we are going to suspend operations on Monday.”

No intervention from government, stakeholders

The President of NARTO revealed that despite their efforts to seek assistance from various stakeholders within the Federal Government and the petroleum industry, they have not seen any positive outcomes.

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Reflecting on the market conditions endured by their members over several months, he noted that the freight rates have remained unchanged since President Muhammadu Buhari's administration.

Specifically, he pointed out that the N32 freight rate from Lagos to Abuja, established when the dollar was valued at N650, persists even though the dollar is now valued at N1,615.

Since the announcement by NARTO, some Nigerians are already getting apprehensive as the suspension of service could lead to an imminent fuel scarcity in the country.

Reacting to the development, energy analyst, Wale Ogundeji, told Legit.ng that Nigeria is not ready for any more round of fuel scarcity at this time.

He said:

Given the hardship that Nigerians are currently going through, it would be very unsympathetic to add a fuel scarcity crisis to that.
Understandably, there are many problems along the petroleum products supply chain, but I would appeal that NARTO members try to resolve these issues with the appropriate authorities.

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Petrol landing cost hits new record

In related news, Legit.ng reported that while Nigeria's foreign exchange crisis worsened, the landing cost of imported petrol exceeded N1,000 per litre.

Findings indicated that the landing cost of gasoline—which includes the product's foreign pricing, transportation, insurance, and other charges—rose to N1,009/litre in October 2023 from N720/litre at the black-market rate of N1,500 per dollar.

Analysts believe the government is still quietly subsidising petrol to ease the hardship already faced.

Source: Legit.ng

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