Bridging: Oil Marketers Get N303bn In 5 Years
Oil marketers received N303.4bn as bridging claims for the distribution of petrol across the country under the Petroleum Equalisation Fund in five years.
According to the PEF Management Board, the bridging scheme was introduced as a temporary measure during turnaround maintenance of refineries wherein government sought to support marketers in transporting petroleum products nationwide.
Figures contained in the latest Fiscal Allocation and Statutory Disbursement Audit 2012-2016 of the Nigeria Extractive Industries and Initiative also showed that PEF realised N382bn within the five-year period.
The report stated, “A total of N499bn was received by PEF within the review period. Besides, PEF also realised N382bn bridging allowance.
“Most of its (PEF) expense totalling about N303.4bn was expended on claims.”
The NEITI report noted that the fund did not impose penalties promptly on defaulting independent and major oil marketers who failed to pay their required contribution.
It also noted that utilisation of the funds was not separated between the core activity and administrative purposes.
Providing further explanation on why there were bridging claims, the PEF board stated that bridging was meant to be a temporary solution until the refineries were producing at full capacity.
“But the state of the refineries had worsened over the years,” the PEF board stated on its website.
It added that pipeline vandalism by militants and economic saboteurs had been on the increase, to the point where trucks had become the major source of distributing petroleum products in recent times.
It said, “The initial projection was to have a maximum of 10 per cent of total petroleum products bridged while the remaining portion will be pumped through the pipelines.
“However, trend analysis indicates that bridging of products has consistently increased over the years to about 40 per cent.”
The PEF board noted that there was also a noticeable trend whereby products were bridged from Lagos to the South-East and South-South areas of the country to address products unavailability from the refineries in Port Harcourt and Warri.
Further analysis of the fiscal allocation report of NEITI also showed that the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency stopped its payment of subsidy on petrol since 2011.
“Since then, payment of subsidy is done through Debt Management Office,” the report stated.
For the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, the report stated that the fund received a total of N124bn with signature bonus accounting for N119bn or 96 per cent.
From the report, 37 per cent of the expenditure was on assisted projects, 20 per cent was on scholarships, while the balance of 43 per cent was spent on administrative purposes.
The report noted that it was difficult to ascertain the number of those beneficiaries (successful scholars) funded by the PTDF under its overseas scholarship scheme who actually returned to Nigeria after their programmes and became integrated in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
The NEITI report also captured disbursements from mineral and non-mineral revenues given to the Tertiary Education Trust Fund during the review period.
It said TETFUND Fund received a total of N993bn with N805bn from mineral revenue, while N188bn was received from non-mineral.
However, the report noted that the fund did not have a comprehensive accounting and operational manual; hence, there was insufficient guide for accounting and operations’ processes.
“This made it difficult to verify the income received from the various sources by the fund and to evaluate the utilisation of the money received,” it stated.
For the Niger Delta Development Commission, NEITI said the agency received N819.81bn within the period under review.
It noted that out of this amount, N806.78bn was from mineral revenue, representing 98 per cent, while N13bn came from non-mineral revenues.
According to the report, the NDDC spent N932.6bn and $6.1bn respectively on recurrent expenditure and capital-related projects.
NEITI explained that its findings in the agencies were meant to promote transparency in the activities of the various government institutions.