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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Senate draws blood, proposes fuel increase

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By Tunde Adetunji, Abuja
As Nigerians grapple with the pangs of economic recession, they will have to cope with another fuel price hike as the Senate Committee on Works has recommended fuel levy,  toll gates and introduction of additional taxes to fund roads in the country.
This move was sequel to a recommendation which is contained in the report of the Committee on Works on the National Road Funds Bill, is not an executive bill but a private member bill sponsored by Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano).
The National Roads Fund bill which is to help in the funding, maintenance and administration of road networks in Nigeria, will be funded through nine sources including: fuel levy of N5 chargeable per litre on any volume of petrol and diesel products in Nigeria, toll gates as well as axle load control charges.
According to the document, other sources of revenue for the Road Fund include: International Vehicle Transit Charges, Road Funds Surcharge of 0.5percent taxed on the assessed value of any vehicle imported into the country.
Inter-state travellers are not also left out as the panel recommends an Inter-State Mass Transit Charge of 0.5percent deductible from the fare paid by passengers to commercial mass transit operators on inter-state roads.
Others are lease, license; grants and loans as well as gifts of land, money or other property.
The bill is one of the 11 high priority economic recovery bills recommended to the National Assembly for passage by the National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable (NASSBER).
Others are: Petroleum Industry Governance Bill; National Development Bank of Nigeria Bill; National Road Fund Act bill; Federal Roads Authority Act bill and National Transport Commission (Establishment) Bill.
Others are: Nigerian Ports and Harbours Authority Act (Amendment) Bill; Warehouse Receipts Act Bill; Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) (Amendment) Bill; Investment and Securities Act (ISA); Customs and Excise Management Act and Federal Competition Bill.
However, only four of the bills have been passed by the Eighth Senate so far. They are: the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, Nigerian Ports and Harbours Authority Act (Amendment) Bill and Warehouse Receipts Bill and Nigerian Customs Service Management Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill.
Although the report was listed on the Order Paper of Thursday, it was however not considered due to time constraints, as it was adjourned till another legislative day.
Twelve out of 15 members of the panel signed the report.

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