Musa Yahya Maikifi, the Chairman of the Northern Independent Petroleum Marketers Forum (NIPMF) has said the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) owes the forum over N250 billion outstanding bridging claims for the last year.
He said this during a meeting in Kano state on Thursday, July 27.
According to him, the failure to pay up will affect petroleum distribution in all the Northern states. He also stated that members of the forum can no longer afford to transport and supply petroleum products for sale at various outlets.
Meanwhile, the forum’s Secretary, Jarma Mustapha said:
- “We have outstanding bridging claims up to the day when the end of the deregulation was announced by the new President.
- “As the new deregulation regime started now, we are faced with difficulties such as lack of capacity, and lack of capital to continue our business because most of our capital was hung with the defunct Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF).
- “We are now calling on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to intervene so that the whole of our outstanding claims, up to the 30th of May 2023, when the new deregulation was announced, should be paid for our members to continue getting enough capital to continue being in business.
- “Today, the capital you need to have one truck of the product before has multiplied by four to have the same number of trucks today. Almost all of our members are going out of business.
- “Based on that, we are appealing to the President to intervene, talk to the authorities concerned to immediately pay all our outstanding claims.”
Impending shutdown of fuel distribution in Northern states?
Mustapha explained that bridging claims are contributed by the consumers, which are collected by the marketers and paid to NNPCL. Meanwhile, NNPCL collects and pays into the collective fund of the Equalization Fund.
- “That money is not budgeted, which is financed by the government. It is financed by the consumers through the marketers, basically to equalize prices across the country.
- “We will follow diplomatic means to access the fund, but we cannot guarantee that the diplomatic means will be sustainable. We don’t know how to control our members. It is incumbent on the government to look at the situation, consider our support for the deregulation policies, and do the needful.
- “As businesspeople, we do not go on strike but if the situation persists, we will just withdraw our services, which we do not pray for such to happen.”