From Uche Usim, Abuja
The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) on Thursday said it disbursed N58 billion from December 2021 and till date to oil marketers as bridging cost of reticulating petrol across the country.
The authority made the disclosure in a statement as a way of exonerating itself from complicities leading to the current scathing scarcity that has forced motorists to sleep at filling stations.
It also said it to counter the claims of some oil marketers who insist that the Federal Government owes them N500 billion bridge claims covering the last nine months.
Nonetheless, NMDPRA explained that the administration of bridging payment was a continuous process as hundreds of trucks load 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).
“We wish to stress that the total amount disbursed so far is the highest ever paid within a six-months span by previous fund administrators, 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.
“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 stated.
The Authority added that some of the pending payments were due to the reluctance of marketers to reconcile their claims, in spite of the its continuous appeal to come for reconciliation whenever there are discrepancies.