Abuja - The Petroleum Equalisation Fund Management Board (PEFMB) said it saved N14. 433 billion for Nigeria through ``Project Aquila’’ between January and November 2013.
Adefunke Kasali, the Executive Secretary of PEF, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said ``Project Aquila is a high-tech electronic loading and delivery system introduced by PEF to check leakages in the system, as well as enthrone transparency and due process.’’
According to her, PEF has been able to check fraudulent activities among petroleum marketers and ensured transparency in the system through the project.
“The new initiative, also known as ‘e-loading’ ensures the delivery of petroleum products to the right destination.
"It has saved the nation a huge sum of money by curtailing the unwholesome practices of some marketers,” she said.
The executive secretary said the project had also been able to remove encumbrances that normally caused distortions in the supply chain such as the issue of prompt payment of bridging claims.
Kasali said that Project Aquila, which had been successfully deployed in all parts of the country, ensured automated data capture and enhanced processing and payment of claims.
She said the project was still being applied in the dispatch and receipt of trucks.
Stakeholders in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry had continued to commend the initiative due to its on-line, real-time information management capability, she noted.
The PEF boss said ``because Project Aquila provides accurate confirmation of all loadings and deliveries, petroleum products are now available in all parts of the country at government approved prices."
She, however, denied insinuations that payment of marketers were being delayed, adding that the initiative had facilitated the availability of petroleum products across the country due to prompt payment of claims.
“In fact, there is strong evidence of new investments in retail outlets and trucks in the past year, arising from prompt payment of marketers' claims.
“Such investments have also encouraged job creation within the industry as envisaged by the President's Transformation Agenda.’’
Kasali also refuted claims that the board was underpaying some marketers, saying that the PEFMB had been consistent in paying the right claims due to marketers.
This, she said, was in accordance with their capacity as approved by the Department of Petroleum Resources.
"Those who are complaining are those that the robust Project Aquila has blocked their old ways of "milking" the system and are uncomfortable with the new measures imposed to check past abuses,’’ she added.