Nigerian govt shares N22.7bn to fuel transporters, but real consumption figures remain unknown

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority has disclosed that it has paid out N22.7 billion bridging claims to petroleum product transporters.

According to the NMDPRA, the Federal government would also pay an additional N30 billion this week to facilitate the seamless distribution of petroleum products around the nation.

Bridging claims represent the cost of transporting fuel from Pipelines and Products Marketing Company depots to approved zones to ensure a uniform pump price across the country and it is one of the items that makes up fuel subsidy.

The Chief Executive Officer, NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed disclosed the payment during an interactive session with downstream industry officials on Wednesday in Lagos.

Stakeholders at the meeting included top officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd, the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria and the Depots and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria.

In the meeting, Ahmed said: “Since the last meeting in December, we have paid about N12.7bn to the transporters, and last Monday, we paid another N10bn.

“This week, we are paying another N30bn to transporters in a bid to give them respite because of the difficulties they are facing with the economic realities,” he said.

Ahmed also explained to the transporters that the delay in the payment of the bridging claims was due to verification of the claims of the transporters by the agency.

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority has disclosed that it has paid out N22.7 billion bridging claims to petroleum product transporters.

According to the NMDPRA, the Federal government would also pay an additional N30 billion this week to facilitate the seamless distribution of petroleum products around the nation.

Bridging claims represent the cost of transporting fuel from Pipelines and Products Marketing Company depots to approved zones to ensure a uniform pump price across the country and it is one of the items that makes up fuel subsidy.

The Chief Executive Officer, NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed disclosed the payment during an interactive session with downstream industry officials on Wednesday in Lagos.

Stakeholders at the meeting included top officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd, the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria and the Depots and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria.

In the meeting, Ahmed said: “Since the last meeting in December, we have paid about N12.7bn to the transporters, and last Monday, we paid another N10bn.

“This week, we are paying another N30bn to transporters in a bid to give them respite because of the difficulties they are facing with the economic realities,” he said.

Ahmed also explained to the transporters that the delay in the payment of the bridging claims was due to verification of the claims of the transporters by the agency.

This payment follows Minister of Petroleum Resources Timipre Sylva’s declaration that the ministry has no official numbers for Nigeria’s fuel consumption level, despite the fact that it is used to calculate subsidy payment.

Sylva speaking on NTA, pointed out that the estimates for Nigeria’s petroleum usage are exaggerated.

In his words: “We should just sit down and interrogate that subsidy, subsidy price and see what we are paying for it and what’s in the landing costs.

“There have been efforts at controlling smuggling. And then something dramatic happened. When we had the deregulation discussions, and the price moved up to N162 from N145 where I met it, we realised that the consumption dropped to less than 50 million litres or 40 million.

“So, later on, once the exchange rate also moved up a little bit and swallowed the gains we made from the N162 move, the figures increased again.

“And sometimes, the figures you hear are crazy. I mean, when they tell you 90 million litres a day, I mean, they’re crazy figures. So I mean, so for me, what is the total of all this? We’ve been interrogating these numbers for 20 years.

“We continue to interrogate these figures because we all know that there is a problem here, it’s opaque”.

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