Marketers and the NMDPRA are working together to address outstanding bridging claims

Ken Ibenne

Ken Ibenne

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) is now reconciling outstanding bridging claims by premium motor spirit (PMS) merchants.

Farouk Ahmed, the authority’s chief executive, met with a delegation of the Northern Independent Petroleum Marketers Forum in Abuja to discuss the payment of outstanding bridging claims to marketers as part of the process of submitting required documents and making themselves available for engagements that will lead to the reconciliation of the figure.

It stated that the delayed payments are due to marketers’ unwillingness to balance their claims, despite the authority’s repeated requests that they do so whenever there are disparities.

The administration of bridging payment, according to NMDPRA, is a continual procedure because hundreds of truckloads and discharge products are delivered everyday, adding to the claims.

“The NMDPRA has paid various payments to marketers whose claims have been confirmed since December 2021. Over N58 billion has been paid out to oil marketers so far, with about N34 billion going directly to members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN),” according to the authorities.

“This implies that the reimbursement of marketer’s transportation differentials for petroleum products movement from depots to sales outlets is a priority to the NMDPRA,” the authority said, adding that the total amount disbursed so far is the highest ever paid within six months by previous fund administrators.

The NMDPRA stated that freight rates had been raised to cover additional costs of operations owing to inflation and foreign exchange in order to ensure smooth operation of petrol carriers.

“Freight prices were recently revised upwards to reflect current market realities and incentivize investments in petroleum product transportation in the country to ensure continued distribution,” it added.

The Authority, while assuring the availability of PMS, stated that the NNPC has enough PMS to last for 47 days, or 2.65 billion litres, and that there is no need to fear because the current situation in some regions of the country will soon stabilize.

“We want to emphasize that the Authority remains dedicated to honoring and processing legal and verified bridging claims to ensure product availability across the country,” it said.

In order to address the growing lineups for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in various parts of the country, the Authority is directing loading depots to extend their operating hours and reviewing vessel discharge procedures.
 
“To alleviate the delays that have emerged in some parts of the country in recent days, several loading terminals have been directed to operate on extended hours to permit more truck-out,” the statement stated. In the meantime, vessel discharge operations have been examined in order to expedite truck loading and distribution in order to meet rising demand.”

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