….Engages PTD, NARTO, FIRS, Others
By Akpobor Jirue, Abuja
Following its earlier promise to the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) Branch of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum & Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), the Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it has started discussion with critical stakeholders so as to find lasting solution to the deplorable state of roads that led to tanker drivers’ planned strike which was later shelved upon the intervention of the oil giant, as well as other lingering issues.
A statement signed by the Corporation’s spokesperson, Garba Deen Muhammad, said the move is part of efforts in sustaining the current smooth supply and distribution of petroleum products nationwide during the approaching festive period and beyond.
Recall that NNPC had at the weekend intervened when PTD threatened to go on a nationwide strike due to the deplorable state of Nigerian roads. As a result of the intervention the Union had agreed to accept the dialogue option proposed by the Corporation, a development that has sustained smooth supply and distribution of petroleum products nationwide.
According to Garba Deen, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, on Tuesday (yesterday) took a decisive step towards the actualization of his promise when he hosted a major stakeholders’ meeting at the NNPC Towers.
The meeting which took place in Abuja was attended by the NNPC, the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Federal Ministry of Works, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Department of State Services (DSS), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and Nigeria Union of Petroleum & Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG).
During the meeting, the NNPC CEO said stakeholders have agreed on a framework for NNPC’s intervention in critical road rehabilitation through the Federal Government Tax Credit Scheme.
“We are committed to utilising the Federal Government’s Tax Credit Scheme to rebuild some of the affected roads in line with Mr. President’s Executive Order 7. Upon our fruitful deliberations today, the NNPC has pledged to support the PTD and NARTO in carrying out quick intervention fixes on some strategic bad spots identified to enable unhindered movement of trucks for transportation of petroleum products nationwide,” Mallam Kyari stated.
Established under FG’s Executive Order 7 of 2019, the Road Trust Fund Policy/Tax Credit Scheme gives private sector operators an opportunity to fund critical infrastructure with the government.
Stakeholders also agreed to enforce mandatory installation of safety valves in all petroleum product trucks in the country effective February 1, 2022 with full commitment given by NARTO.
The meeting also frowned at the abuse of axle load or tonnage limits, with the NNPC agreeing to engage the Nigerian Customs Service for enforcement of preventing the importation of tanks that exceed 45,000 litres capacity.