By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA – Barring any last minute change of minds, truck owners would suspend transportation of petroleum products across the country beginning from Tuesday.
The truck owners, had last week issued a seven-day ultimatum within which to withdraw their services over alleged unpaid bridging claims and reduction of freight rate paid to its members by the Petroleum Equalisation Fund, PEF.
At a join press briefing addressed by the leaderships of the National Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, and the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, branch of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, the groups threatened to withdraw their services at the expiration of the seven-day.
National President of NARTO, Alhaji Kassim Ibrahim Bataiya, who was assisted by the PTD’s Comrade salimon Olatidi, respectively, at the media briefing demanded that the management board of the PEF must immediately commence the full payment of transporters’ claims.
The truck owners warned that they will suspend their services of movement of petroleum products from one destination to the other throughout the country should the management of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund, PEF, continues to defer in payments of transporters’ claims.
Alhaji Bataiya demanded that the management board of the PEF should immediately commence the full payment of transporters’ claims as well as the accumulated outstanding claims in respect of the period January 1, 2011 to May 11, 2016 at the rate applicable from 2011 to December 31st, 2015.
He further asked the PEF management board to immediately conclude the review of the freight rate from May 12, 2016 to date, in accordance with the bridging fund approved by the government of N6.20k per litre using the criteria for the increase or decrease of the freight rate.
Alhaji Bataiya noted that on May 20, 2016, the PEF released a circular containing a new freight rate review wherein the National Transport Allowance, NTA, was revised from N3.05k per litre to N3.36k per litre and the bridging fund was revised from N4.00 per litre to N6.20k per litre effective from May 11, 2016.