Nigeria: Narto Raises Concern Over Debts Owed By Defunct Petroleum Agencies

21 October 2021

The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) yesterday expressed worry over the outstanding debts owed it by the defunct Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).

In a statement issued in Abuja, the National President of the group, Yusuf Othman, said members of the association were in the dark concerning their relationship with the scrapped entities.

The organisation stressed that the federal government had yet to inform its members of what would become of the liabilities, insisting that it must be carried along in order to plan accordingly.

NARTO urged the government to be proactive and invite the association for a meeting on the matter, instead of waiting for a threat before doing what is necessary to ensure peace in the oil and gas sector.

However, Othman expressed support for the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and the newly appointed Chief Executive Officers of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Agency (NMDRA), Mr. Farouk Ahmed and that of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NURP), Mr. Gbenga Komolafe.

"First of all we congratulate the government on the passage of the PIA. We also congratulate the new agencies. However, we want to know our fate as regards our liabilities with the PPPRA and PEF as regards our going forward.

"We want to know our fate. We are not averse to the government. We are not against it but we are in the dark," the NARTO stated.

It added: "Now that the government said it has scrapped the DPR, PPPRA and PEF, we need to be briefed officially what is the status of our operations now. What is the status of our outstanding monies with PEF and what is the fate of our current operation?"

According to Othman, NARTO is a critical stakeholder that hauls petroleum products across the country and operates on credit, resulting in the outstanding debt that the scrapped agencies are owing members of the association.

"This is because as it is today, we haul across the country and we do it on credit and later we are reimbursed. Now that they have scrapped PEF, what is the fate of our cooperation and our outstanding money. We have to be informed going forward so that we can tell our members and plan ahead.

"You don't just scrap PEF and keep quiet. Let's be informed about the liabilities of the PEF because we are part of the liability. We want to know what it is because we are critical stakeholders as far as DPR, PEF and PPPRA are concerned.

"It is not just scrapping them, when you scrap them what happens to the operation that these organs do? Are they going to be absorbed by the new entities or what happens to us? We need to know. Government needs to be proactive.

"It is not that we want to threaten the government. They need to be proactive. The new entities that have come in need to invite us for talks," the body said.

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