PEF goes tough on fake petroleum distribution claims

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

01 June 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – The Petroleum Equalisation Fund Management Board, PEF(M)B, has announced plans to review and strengthen 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

According to a statement signed by the PEF management, and made available to our correspondent in Abuja, the decision is part of the measures being implemented by the Board to further improve transparency and accountability in its service delivery until the manual system is abolished and the revolutionary ‘Project Aquila’ electronic data capturing technology is fully operational at all depots.

In stated that, “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. An added advantage of Project Aquila is to indicate the consumption pattern of particular areas for effective planning.

“Also, it will further improve the Board’s processes; provide accurate confirmation of all loading and deliveries of petroleum products, to indicate the consumption patterns of cities for effective planning.”

Meanwhile, 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.

It added that the Zonal Offices have been charged to ensure hitch-free loading of petroleum products by marketers. “Furthermore, the Board’s staff at the receiving depots have been mandated to ensure speedy reception and clearance of all arriving trucks to guarantee faster discharge of products at the service stations in order to maintain availability of products.”

In preparation for the final over to Project Aquila, the Board has deployed adequate resources to accelerate the processing and payment of marketers’ genuine Bridging and Equalization claims to enable them move more products.

“The Board wishes to assure the nation of its continued drive towards ensuring transparency and efficient service delivery to guarantee steady and adequate supply of products across the nation at Government approved prices,” the statement noted.

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