…Says report may trigger panic buying
The Petroleum Equalisation Fund (Management) Board has said that a recent media report (not Economic Confidential) titled “Unpaid bridging claims threaten fuel supply” is not only true but capable of triggering panic buying of petroleum products, apart from creating artificial scarcity.
“The story is simply not true, and does not in any way reflect the reality in the current status of the payment of bridging claims nor the relationship between the Board and its stakeholders, particularly the Transporters”, said Goddy Nnadi, General Manager, Corporate Services in a statement made available to Economic Confidential in Abuja.
The statement further emphasised that the story has the potential of instigating panic buying, thereby creating artificial scarcity at a time the Federal Government has visibly eradicated fuel scarcity, which had disrupted economic activities in the country for a long time.
“For the avoidance of any doubts, the Board has been consistent in making payments to marketers, using the Treasury Single Account (TSA) platform, as directed by the Government. Secondly, all outstanding issues with the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) have been fully resolved. Therefore, there is no pervading circumstance that could affect the transportation of petroleum products in all the depots across the nation”, the statement said.
Interestingly, the National President of NARTO, Alhaji Kassim I. Battaiya has confirmed this morning that the Association has no issues with the Board over the payment of bridging claims. Also, it is intriguing that staff of the Daily Trust located in Abuja, less than two kilometres from our corporate head office, could not wait to confirm whatever information at its disposal, even after an appointment had been made.
The Board hereby assures members of the public that it has continuously and judiciously discharged its role of implementing the equalisation schemes, by reimbursing marketers the cost of transporting petroleum products from the point of loading to the outlets for sale at set benchmark prices. Although Daily Trust chose to mention outlets selling products at higher rates, it is interesting however, to note that some marketers are even selling products at prices lower than the set threshold.
Furthermore, the Board has evolved Aquila, a fully transparent and technology-driven process of dispatching and receiving trucks at the depots to reduce leakages in the system; and is currently working on a full end-to-end system of monitoring delivery of products at the outlets. When fully implemented, the project will help curb diversion as well as generate reliable data for National Planning.
Staff of the Board are available in all the depots across the country and will synergise with all stakeholders to ensure availability of petroleum products while ensuring that marketers are paid promptly. The Board is also meeting with members of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) in coming weeks to discuss various ways of increasing service delivery.
The Board will like to reiterate that the implementation of the TSA has in no way impeded the payment of bridging claims to marketers. Also, there are no subsisting issues between it and NARTO that could affect the transportation of petroleum products nation-wide.