Daily Trust (Abuja)

4 June 2012

Nigeria: PEF Uncovers Fraud by Petroleum Marketers

Petroleum marketers are submitting fake claims for bridging and equalization payment, the Petroleum Equalisation Fund Management Board has said.

The Board said it is reviewing and strengthening its processes and procedures to streamline and tighten the processing of marketers' claims to check high incidences of fake claims submitted to the organization for payment.

"Worried by the increasing level of unacceptable claims presented by marketers, the Board has reviewed and re-strengthened its verification processes to include all product distribution parameters and daily distribution reconciliations", the Boards said in a statement.

According to the Board, the review is part of measures to improve transparency and accountability in the Board's service delivery until the manual system is abolished and Project Aquila is fully operational at all depots.

"Indeed, "Project Aquila" which has taken off in many depots, is intended to automate data capture, processing, and transmission to guarantee on-line, real-time information management for prompt decision making, as well as, prompt settlement of marketers' claims," it said.

The Board has also put in place procedures at the loading depots to facilitate prompt dispatch of trucks using both project Aquila and manual systems until the final cut-over to the electronic method.

The Zonal Offices have been charged to ensure hitch-free loading of petroleum products by marketers, Daily Trust learnt.

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