Abuja –– Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, Wednesday, ordered petroleum tanker drivers across the country to stop the lifting of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, from Friday, March 27, 2020, sparking fears of another round of fuel crisis.
In a statement in Abuja, National President of NARTO, Alhaji Yusuf Othman, stated that the decision to withdraw its employees, the tanker drivers from fuel lifting was in reaction to efforts by the country to stop the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He directed the tanker drivers to stay at home and resume fuel lifting when the Coronavirus pandemic is brought under control.
Othman noted that the action was necessitated by the fact that loading depots across the country were a beehive of activities, playing host to more than 500 persons at any given time.
He said, “As you are no doubt aware, the Federal Government has taken a number of measures to manage the identified cases of COVID – 19 and curtail its spread. The National Leadership of NARTO, which is an umbrella organization of all commercial transport owners in the country, being genuinely concerned about the safety and health of all its employees who are continuously in the service of our fatherland, owes it a duty to take all necessary steps to minimize their exposure to the deadly virus and thus joined the Nigerian health authorities to curtail the spread of the disease in our country.
“At this daring time, NARTO would continue to monitor the trend of events as we also consider the safety and welfare of our employees who form the vulnerable and integral part of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.
“In its determination to control the spread of the disease, the Federal Government has banned all public meetings of 50 persons and above in any one place. In compliance with this directive, we have similarly directed all our employees (Tanker Drivers) to keep away from the depots and stay at home with effect from Friday, March 27, 2020 pending when the situation is brought under control.
“This action is necessitated by the fact that our loading depots across the country are places of beehive of activities containing more than 500 persons at any one time. Our workers should be rest assured that the National Leadership of NARTO would stand by them at this critical moment as we equally implore them to be of good conduct and law abiding.
“Finally, we join millions of our country men and women in prayers against the continued proliferation of the disease throughout the world and, are confident in the capacity of our health institutions to address the challenges which COVID–19 poses to our country and humanity as a whole.”