Business - Business & Economy - News - October 13, 2021

NNPC, FIRS, oil workers, others agree on framework for road repairs

IBy Bassey Udo

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited on Tuesday agreed with oil workers and other major stakeholders in the oil industry on a framework for its proposed intervention in the rehabilitation of critical roads in the country.

The agreement was reached during a follow-up meeting with the oil workers in Abuja to find ways to resolve the lingering crisis affecting the sustained uninterrupted supply and distribution of petroleum products nationwide during the festive period and beyond.

Following the threat by oil workers to embark on an indefinite nationwide strike planned to commence last Monday, the NNPC offered to intervene by helping resolve the issues involved.

The planned stirke action was by members of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), an affiliate of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), who were protesting the deplorable state of the country’s highways  used for the distribution of petroleum products.

As a gesture of its good corporate social responsibility to avert the crisis that was looming, the NNPC offered to intervene in the rehabilitation of some bad portions of the country’s roads network to avoid the disruption of fuel supplies across the country.

The assurance by the NNPC resulted in the tanker drivers’ decision on Sunday to suspend the planned strike action.

But in a communique announcing the decision to suspend the planned strike, NUPENG President, William Akporeha, and General Secretary, Afolabi Olawale, said an understanding was reached between the Union and NNPC management on a follow-up meeting to work out the details of the proposed intervention by the company.

During the meeting held at the NNPC headquarters in Abuja, the Group Managing Director/ CEO of NNPC, Mele Kyari, told participants that the proposed intervention would involve making considerable funds available through its Future Tax Liability to invest in the reconstruction of select Federal roads under the Federal Government’s Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Task Credit Scheme. 

The process, Kyari said,  would involve making considerable funds available through its Future Tax Liability to invest in the reconstruction of select Federal roads under the Federal Government’s Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Task 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,” Kyari said at the end of the meeting.

The meeting was attended by the NNPC top management, the leadership of the 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 NUPENG.

Established under Federal Government’s Executive Order 7 of 2019, the Road Trust Fund Policy/Tax Credit Scheme gives private sector operators an opportunity to fund critical infrastructure development in partnership with the government.

During the meeting, 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 strict enforcement to prevent the importation of tanks that exceed 45,000 litres capacity.

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