The Senate has jointly agreed to reconsider the recommendations of the Senate Committee on Works stating that N5 should be levied on every litre of petroleum and diesel including other taxes aimed at generating fund for the construction of Nigerian roads.
Speaking on the proposed recommendation is the Chairman of the committee, Senator Kaniru Gaya made it known that the N5 levy on these products will be from the current pump price and not an extra charge on it because it is based on the template of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).
On the issue of toll fee, he said, “we are not proposing for a toll fee right now. We are saying when the roads are good and when there are concessions of these roads and private partners come in, we can put the toll gates and take a 10 per cent commission to be paid into the road fund.”
Senator Ike Ekweremadu
On the other hand, Senator Kabiru Mafara, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) who was supposed to second the consideration of the bill for reading as it was not part of the debate at the plenary stoutly condemned the recommendation of Gaya’s committee.
Mafara said, “the only consideration there is the fee charged for petroleum equalization. Taking another N5 on imported fuel and taking N5 also from the locally-refined products is going to add pressure to the already impoverished common man and considering that these whole items will bring untold hardships to the people of Nigeria, the assertion that the N5 has already been captured in the template of the PPPRA does not tally. There is always a template that determines the pump price of petroleum products”.
He continues, “this is a very sensitive matter and I want to advise that the National Roads Funds be restricted to the road sector, we have already passed the PIGB and in the bill we have the Petroleum Equalisation Fund; we have requested for another N5 to be paid into the account so that petroleum products can sell reasonably at the same price across the nation”.
The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu who presided over the plenary session however implored the lawmakers to air their views on the bill when the time is right to deliberate but Senator Binta Garba said the bill should be suspended.