NARTO Strike: Fuel Scarcity Hits Abuja As Many Petrol Stations Shut Down

Many filling stations in the Federal Capital Territory are currently closed, causing significant inconvenience to motorists who are facing long queues at the few stations still dispensing petrol.

This situation arises from the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) fulfilling their threat to suspend operations starting on Monday, resulting in a scarcity of petrol across the city.

One notable closure was observed at the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) filling station on Arab Road in Kubwa, Abuja, on Monday morning. Additionally, the Conoil filling station along the Zuba-Kubwa expressway experienced lengthy queues as motorists scrambled to secure fuel.

In the central business district of Abuja, the NNPCL retail outlet also witnessed extensive queues on Monday morning. Many other stations operated by independent marketers had shut down due to the halt in petroleum product transportation by NARTO members.

Reports emerged on Monday that the Federal Government intervened by ordering oil marketers to engage in negotiations with NARTO to prevent the planned suspension of operations, which was set to disrupt the nationwide lifting of petroleum products.

The engagement between oil marketers and NARTO executives intensified over the weekend, with approximately six meetings held between Saturday and Sunday.

The Federal Government, represented by downstream regulators and the petroleum ministry, scheduled a meeting with NARTO members and other stakeholders on Monday in Abuja to address the underlying issues.

Concerns about a potential fuel scarcity escalated on Friday, as NARTO announced its intention to cease lifting petroleum products due to the soaring cost of operations. Members of NARTO have repeatedly highlighted the exorbitant prices of diesel required to power their trucks for nationwide transportation of petroleum products.

Notably, diesel prices ranged between N1,250 to N1,400 per litre, varying depending on the location of purchase, as reported by oil marketers on Thursday. Yusuf Othman, President of NARTO, reiterated the association’s decision to park their trucks from Monday, emphasizing the disparity between operational costs and revenue.

While NARTO tanker operators maintained the suspension of operations, ongoing negotiations with the Federal Government were reported on Monday.

Government sources indicated that the objective of these discussions was to prevent the nationwide fuel scarcity by reaching a resolution with NARTO members to resume operations.

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