Bridging Payments for Petrol Continues, Says Midstream/Downstream Authority

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Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) yesterday said it would continue to process claims for bridging of petrol to ensure product availability nationwide.

Before the new commission, the defunct Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) was saddled with the job of administering the ‘bridging fund’ to ensure uniformity in petrol prices nationwide.

The Chief Executive of NMDPRA, Mr. Farouk Ahmed spoke in Abuja, when delegates from the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) paid him a courtesy visit.

Ahmed said the Authority was aware of the fact that the signing of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA, 2021), leading to the creation of the NMDPRA may have raised some uncertainty on the continuation of the bridging scheme.

He added that the issues included whether or not bridging funds would continue to be paid to beneficiaries.
He stressed further that NARTO as well as other stakeholders should not panic because all verified bridging obligations will be honoured and paid by the Authority.

The National President, NARTO, Lawal Othman, had earlier informed the NMDPRA of the outstanding payments being owed its members by the federal government.
He expressed concern that some members were losing interest in the business of transporting petrol, which according to him, was no longer profitable.

To this end, he made an appeal for the upward review of the bridging funds on the pricing template.
He urged government to put in place policies that will not only address the current dwindling returns on investment but will in addition, stimulate investment in the transportation and logistics of petroleum products in the country.

Executive Director, Distributions System, Storage and Retail Infrastructure, NMDPRA, Mr. Ogbugo Ukoha, in his remarks, urged NARTO to ensure that it plays its part in ensuring petrol availability throughout the yuletide period, regardless of its current challenges.