The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), yesterday announced that it has focused its searchlight on some of its members who were allegedly involved in cargo smuggling and cargo diversion.
It claimed to be pursuing individuals responsible for transporting petroleum products to neighboring West African Nations.
To this purpose, it issued a warning to its members, stating that the national organization would not hesitate to turn over members who were caught in such crimes to law enforcement officials. It also discouraged its members from engaging in cargo diversion, bunkering, and the smuggling of petroleum products.
At the second quarterly National Executives Council (NEC) and State Chairman in a joint Meeting in Lagos, the National President of NARTO, Alhaji Othman Yusuf Lawal, issued the warning.
Othman reiterated that truck owners must warn their drivers and assistants to adhere strictly to the constitution, adding such illegalities will not be accepted by the national bodies. He added that the association has a name to protect.
He added that the association has internal mechanisms to monitor drivers who engage in such illegal practice.
“What I said is very clear. There is a need for us to ensure that our members are not involved in petroleum products and bunkering and diversion of petroleum products across the country, because all these three things are done by trucks and the trucks are driven by drivers who are our members.
“If we avoid these things, it is in our own interest because we have no reason to be involved in all these bad things because it is affecting us and the economy.
“We are devising internal mechanisms which we will not make public,we will not fold our hands and watch, we will ensure enforcement, we will identify culpable members and hand them over to the government for appropriate punishment”.
On the issue of extortion of truck drivers by state security agencies, he added that talks are ongoing to engage the government from the Southwest to end the anomalies noting that such practices affect business and investments.
“On the way forward to tackle extortion in the South West, we have direct interface with the state governments. We have tried to do that in the past but did not work out but we will intensify efforts to interface with the state governments.”