The Federal Government has revealed that it paid N74bn as bridging claims to oil marketers for the transportation of petroleum products across the country in seven months.
This was disclosed this while reacting to allegations made by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association Nigeria, Suleja Branch, that the scarcity of petroleum products was due to the non-payment of bridging claims.
The government through its Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority said in a statement issued in Abuja that the NMDPRA had earlier held a meeting with marketers on the issue of bridging claims.
The statement read in part, “The authority’s chief executive had at a meeting held on May 17, 2022 with IPMAN, discussed bridging payment extensively and the processes were explained and agreed upon by IPMAN.”
The agency that that it had assured IPMAN of NMDPRA’s willingness to continue making payments of outstanding claims to promote seamless operations.
“Pursuant to the meeting, the NMDPRA went ahead to make additional payment of N10bn in June and sought for an upward review of the freight rate which was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and is currently being implemented,” it stated.
The NMDPRA added, “The authority wishes to reiterate that bridging payment is an ongoing process which is carried out after due verification exercise by the authority and marketers.
“So far, the authority paid N71,233,712,991 bridging claims and another N2,736,179,950.84 freight differentials to marketers as at June 6, 2022.”
Providing the breakdown of payments made to marketers, the agency stated that the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeroa received N9,958,777,487.24; IPMAN members were paid N42,301,923,616.96; while NNPC retail outlets got N6,661,459,118.61.
According to the statement, the NMDPRA is committed to ensuring the safe, efficient and effective conduct of petroleum operations in the midstream and downstream sectors.