Carriers Unionise In Chad

Panafrican News Agency. 11 January 2001

N'djamena—A national union of carriers (SNTR) has been set up in Chad in anticipation of the exploitation of crude oil recently discovered in the country, official sources said.

The union's president, Ousmane Awadalkerim told a press conference Wednesday that the SNTR intended to defend the interests of transport owners in view of the greed of multinational companies.

He deplored the fact that the quota fixed for the transportation of materials intended for the Doba-Kribi pipeline was more advantageous to Cameroonian carriers.

All the materials meant for the construction of the over 900-km pipeline in Cameroon will be transported by Cameronians, while the material for the construction of the 170-km pipeline in Chadian territory will be transported on the basis of a quota fixed in 1975 by the late Cameroonian and Chadian presidents, Amadou Ahidjo and Ngarta Tombalbaye, he said.

According to the quota, 35 percent of the transport of material destined for the construction of the Chad pipeline from the city of Ngaoundere in Cameroon, to the railway's point of arrival from Douala, is given to Cameroonians while Chadians have 65 percent.

But Chadian carriers complain that they have been given the strict minimum, and therefore demand that the terms be renegotiated with subcontracting oil companies.

The SNTR would like ESSO to share the transport between Camaroonians and Chadians equitably since it is a Chadian project.

Contacts are being made with ESSO, subcontracting companies and the Chadian government with a view to revising the transport quota of the oil project materials.

Meanwhile, the SNTR president said there is room for other transport owners to join the union.

The era of monopoly is over, but we have to be united to defend our interests better with a view to achieving more. Foreign companies are welcomed. They can establish here provided they have at least one Chadian in their governing board, Awadalkerim said.

The SNTR, which comprises 11 groupings, owns 70 huge carriers.