The Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), an agency of the federal government, has confirmed that it pays out a minimum of N26 billion annually as reimbursement to petroleum product marketers as palliative for transportation, Leadership reports.
A source in PEF who craved anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter said that the agency pays out a minimum of N500 million weekly to some petroleum products marketers across the country which translates to N26 billion annually. The source further disclosed that the agency pays over 15,000 marketers across the country weekly.
However, PEF’s spokesperson, Dr. Goody Nnaji, refused to confirm the figure, stressing that the agency does not disclose how much it pays to marketers due to the inherent danger in doing so. According to him, the agency, in sometime past used to publish the payment to marketers but stopped doing so as some marketers said the action exposes them to becoming targets of armed robbers and kidnappers.
Speaking on the need to ensure that marketers do not divert products, the source said the agency has proposed to the federal government since 2012 the need to use electronic methods in the tracking of trucks conveying petroleum products from depots to retail outlets. The project tagged “Aquila” is yet to see the light of the day, thus, compelling PEF staff to use a manual monitoring system which gives room to manipulations.