The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owner (NARTO) at the weekend counted the losses it incurred from the #EndSARS protests, saying the protesters burnt over 100 trucks bearing maize and cattle, totaling above N2billion.
According to him, the inferno also consumed the truck drivers and their motor assistants, whose lives are unquantifiable.
The association has since presented the inventory of the #EndSARS protest induced losses to the Federal Government, which the Minister of State, Senator Gbemisola Saraki is already acting on, he said.
He said: “We have some trucks that were burnt. Others with drivers and motor boys burnt. Specifically around Imo State over 100 trucks were burnt with maize, and cattle. And we have taken inventory of these destructions and we have sent it to government. We have not heard from them; we lost more than N2billion.
“Of course, you cannot quantify the amount of lives (drivers and motor boys) that were lost. Some trucks were burnt at Warri. One or three trucks were burnt around Lagos. But the major destruction was around Aba.”
Commenting on the 30 per cent reduction in the vehicle import duty, he described it as a welcome development, stressing that it will go a long way to reduce the capital outlay for the purchase of the articulated vehicles.
“It is a welcome development. This one will also help us to go further because what government has done is to ensure that the heavy duty vehicles we are using in the country don’t go beyond 10 years old,” Othman said.
He lamented the spate of insecurity and its attendant losses to the business of road transporters. He said drivers now spend a week on the same trip that used to take them a day, noting that insecurity has taken toll on the business. Lost time, according to him, is due to fear of attack as most of the roads that have been abandoned for criminals, who hijack petroleum products from the drivers even in the broad daylight. He called other road users that have abandoned the highways for criminals to ply the roads because heavy traffic can scare the criminals away.