NMDPRA Moves to Halt Planned Petrol Marketers’ Strike, Says N103bn Bridging Claims Paid in Nine Months

Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) yesterday moved to stop the planned three-day warning strike by the Northern Independent Petroleum Marketers Forum (NIPMF).

In a statement last night, the organisation noted that it had so far paid over N103 billion to the marketers between December 2021, and August this year, stressing that all the pending issues were being addressed.

NIPMF branches in various states in the north had on Monday threatened to suspend the supply and distribution of products for three days over the alleged failure of the federal government to pay N70 billion bridging claims.

The General Secretary of the body in the Borno State chapter, Alhaji Abbas Yakubu, during a press conference in Maiduguri, said the federal government had failed to pay the members of the association their outstanding balance.

Stressing that no payments had been made in the last three years, he noted that failure to offset the bridging claims will lead to the suspension of services at the nine oil depots in the region.

The depots that would be affected, according to him, include the ones in Maiduguri, Damaturu, Yola, Gombe, Kano, Gusau, Jos, Suleja and Kaduna, adding that the NMDPRA had paid only five per cent of its claim from 2019 to 2021.

However, the NMDPRA said yesterday that in line with its mandate to collaborate with industry stakeholders in ensuring uninterrupted supply of petrol throughout the nation, it held a meeting with the aggrieved members of the organisation on the 5th and 6th of September 2022.

The NMDPRA explained that the meeting which also had the participation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) addressed issues regarding bridging claims and other matters.

“The Authority would like to reiterate that payment of bridging claims is an ongoing process and payments are disbursed as it is received from marketers.

“It should be noted that the Authority has disbursed a total of N103,037, 183,922.91 between December 2021 to August 2022. Following the extensive deliberations between the parties, the Authority further commits to fast-track the settlement of all outstanding claims when received from marketers after due verification and reconciliation.

“NIPMF has agreed to work with the NMDPRA to ensure free flow of petroleum products nationwide.

“The NMDPRA affirms that it will continue  to carry out its mandate as stipulated in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) which includes to promote and ensure the continuous and efficient operations of the midstream and downstream sector in Nigeria,” it stated.

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