RTEAN was regulated in 1978 under decree 22 of 1978 signed by the head of State Lt. General Olosegun Obasanjo on the 15th of August 1978 during that time, there were about 1007 house/craft unions which were restructured to 42 industrial unions, RTEAN inclusive.

These 42 unions were listed in schedule 3 of abour amendment decree 22 of 1978. In the breakdown of the 42 industrial unions, 19 were senior staff association, 9 employer associations and 1 labor centre (NLC). It was subsequently gazzetted in the Federal Republic of Nigeria official gazzette no. 6, vol. 65 of 8th February 1978. The association was established to be representing the interest of transporters in the transport industry throughout the country.