By Obas Esiedesa, Abuja 

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA,  has said that it paid N74 billion to petroleum products marketers to cover the cost of bridging in the past seven months.

The Authority in a statement yesterday denied allegations of insensitivity leveled against it by Independent Petroleum Marketers Association, IPMAN.

It said that the accusation that the current petrol shortage was a result of non-payment of bridging costs was not true.

The agency recalled that its Chief Executive, Farouk Ahmed at a meeting held on 17th May 2022 with IPMAN, bridging payment was discussed extensively, and the processes explained and agreed upon by IPMAN. 

Ahmed assured IPMAN of NMDPRA’s willingness to continue making payment of outstanding claims to promote seamless operations.  

“Pursuant to the meeting, the NMDPRA went ahead to make additional payment of N10 billion in June and sought for an upward review of the freight rate which was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and is currently being implemented.

“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 the Marketers as at 6th June, 2022.

“A breakdown of payment made to Marketers is as follows: Major Marketers (MOMAN) received N9,958,777,487.24, IPMAN members were paid N42,301,923,616.96, NNPC Retails N6,661,459,118.61 while DAPPMAN members were paid N12,303,195,651.57, these translate to a total of N73,969,892,941.84.

“It is disheartening  that despite these payments and increase of N10 bridging cost, which was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari two weeks ago, IPMAN could turn around to accuse the NMDPRA of insensitivity”, the statement added.

The agency said it remained committed to ensuring a safe, efficient, and effective conduct of Midstream and Downstream  petroleum operations.

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