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Buhari increases freight rate to reduce fuel queues



In a bid to clear the persistent fuel queues by motorists in parts of the country, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has approved an increase in the freight rate being paid to transporters of petroleum products.

Oil marketers had repeatedly complained that the lingering fuel queues in Abuja and neighbouring Nasarawa and Niger states, among others, were due to the inability of petroleum product transporters to purchase the diesel required to run their trucks.

This, they said, was due to the hike in the pump price of diesel, which was currently dispensed at about N850/litre.

To address this concern, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority announced on Thursday that Buhari had considered the issue and had approved an upward review of the freight rate.

“His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, has considered and approved the upward review in freight rate for transporters to alleviate the challenges associated with the distribution of Premium Motor Spirit (popularly called petrol) nationwide,” the NMDPR stated in a statement issued in Abuja.

Although the agency was silent on the exact amount, our correspondent gathered from sources in the authority that the government increased the freight rate by N10.

“The approval was after due consultations with industry-wide stakeholders at the instance of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority,” the agency stated in its statement.

It added, “The review was necessitated by the upswing in the global price of petroleum products especially Automotive Gasoil (diesel) and its implication on the cost of transporting Premium Motor Spirit nationwide.”

Consequently, the authority stated that in line with its mandate as prescribed in the Petroleum Industry Act (Section 31(i)) to develop and enforce a framework for tariffing and pricing for natural gas and petroleum products, the transporters’ freight rate had been reviewed to reflect current market realities.

“The revised freight rate takes effect from June 1, 2022, while still maintaining the current regulated PMS pump price of N165.00/litre,” it stated.

The NMDPRA added, “An inter-agency team is being constituted to ensure reconciliation and payment of outstanding transporters claims in line with established payment procedure under the Bridging Fund Scheme.

Meanwhile, NNPC, the sole supplier of PMS, has maintained over 32 days sufficiency in-country. We believe the increase in transporters’ freight rate will further encourage Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners and other stakeholders to deploy more trucks to transport PMS nationwide to ensure adequate supply of the product.”

The authority assured the public of its commitment to building a strong and sustainable midstream and downstream petroleum sector.

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