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Nigerian fuel tanker union ends strike after agreeing to higher freight costs - REUTERS

FEBRUARY 24, 2024


LAGOS, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Nigeria's tanker drivers ended a strike to protest rising operational costs after agreeing to an increase in freight charges with fuel marketers following talks, a union official said on Wednesday.

The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), which groups thousands of truck owners and drivers responsible for distributing fuel nationwide, called the action on Feb. 19.

It is demanding an increase in freight charges due to rising operational costs after a recent second devaluation of the naira currency in under a year and the state of the country's roads.

"The marketers have made some improvements in the amount they pay us," NARTO President Yusuf Lawal said by telephone on Wednesday, after the strike was called off late on Tuesday.
Lawal said the truckers agreed to as much as 20% increase in freight costs, enough to end the strike but the union is still negotiating for a higher rate.
Under a now scrapped fuel subsidy, the government paid 20.46 naira per litre to fuel deliveries and maintain uniform prices nationwide.
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But the removal of the subsidy ended government's obligation to pay the freight charges that guaranteed uniformity across Nigeria's 36 states.
The increase in freight charges agreed between the union and fuel marketers could lead to a slight increase in fuel prices, especially in the states further north and away from the seaports, said Clement Isong, CEO of Major Energy Marketers Association, a group of big local oil marketers.

"Everybody will share how they bear the costs. Some marketers will increase their pump price while others will look for cost savings in other areas," Isong said.


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