NMDPRA, marketers move to resolve outstanding bridging claims
The reconciliation of the outstanding bridging claims by marketers of premium motor spirit (PMS) by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) is underway.
As part of the process of submitting required documents and making themselves available for engagements that will lead to the reconciliation of the figure, the authority chief executive, Farouk Ahmed, has met with a delegation of the Northern Independent Petroleum Marketers Forum to discuss the payment of outstanding bridging claims to marketers in Abuja.
The authority has consistently maintained that N500 billion bandied around by some marketers is not correct and that reconciliation has not been concluded.
It noted that the pending payments are due to the reluctance of marketers to reconcile their claims, despite the authority’s continuous appeal to come for reconciliation whenever there are discrepancies.
NMDPRA explained that the administration of bridging payment is a continuous process, as hundreds of truckloads and discharge products daily, thereby, adding to the claims.
“Since December 2021, the NMDPRA has made several payments to marketers whose claims have been verified. So far, over N58 billion has been disbursed to oil marketers out of which about N34 billion went directly to members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN),” the authority said.
The authority submitted that the total amount disbursed so far is the highest ever paid within six months by previous fund administrators, adding: “which implies that the reimbursement of marketer’s transportation differentials for petroleum products movement from depots to sales outlets is a priority to the NMDPRA.”
To ensure smooth operation of petrol transporters, the NMDPRA hinted the freight rates were jerked up to cater for additional costs of operations due to inflation and foreign exchange.
“In addition, freight rates were recently reviewed upwards to reflect current market realities and stimulate investments in the transportation of petroleum products in the country to ensure uninterrupted distribution,” it added.
While assuring the availability of PMS, the Authority, revealed that the NNPC has sufficient PMS to last over 47 days, translating to about 2.65 billion litres, saying there is no need to panic as the current situation being experienced in some parts of the country will soon stabilise.
It added: “We wish to state that the Authority remains committed to honour and process legitimate and verified bridging claims to ensure product availability nationwide.”
This comes as the Authority directs loading depots to extend their operational hours and also reviews vessel discharge operations in its bid to tackle the growing queues for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in some parts of the country.
It said: “To address some queues that have surfaced in some parts of the country in the last few days, some loading depots have been directed to operate on extended hours to enable increased truck-out. In the interim, the vessel discharge operations have been reviewed to fast-track truck loading and distribution to meet increased demand.”