The Senate has stepped down the controversial National Roads Funds Bill 2017, which proposed a levy of N5 per litre of petrol purchased by motorists.
This followed widespread condemnation of the bill by organised labour, the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS and Nigerians in general.
The bill, sponsored by Kabiru Gaya, is one of 13 high priority economic recovery bills recommended by the National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable to the lawmakers for passage.
It is aimed at supporting the funding and maintenance of roads in Nigeria.
Sources of revenue proposed by the bill include international vehicle transit charges, road funds surcharge of 0.5 percent taxed on the assessed value of any vehicle imported into the country; inter-state mass transit charge of 0.5 percent deductible from the fare paid by passengers to commercial mass transit operators on inter-state roads, among others.
It’s proposal that a fuel levy of N5 per litre on petroleum products as well as toll gates charges, however, proved controversial.
Apart from organised labour and NANS, the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties also criticised the plan and warned that any attempt to increase the price of fuel would be resisted.
On Tuesday, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA urged Nigerians to ignore news of a N5 increase in the price of petrol, saying it had not approved any price increase.
“The PPPRA has observed the growing speculation on a purported imminent increase in the pump price of PMS by N5 per litre. The agency hereby wishes to dispel this rumour and assuage the concerns of Nigerians,” the agency, which is authorised to regulate the price of petroleum products in the country, had said in a statement by its Executive Secretary, Abdulkadir Saidu.
“As the agency of government saddled with the responsibility of regulating petroleum products pricing, supply, and distribution, we want to assure the Nigerian public that the subsisting pump price cap for PMS remains N145 per litre across the country and as such, Nigerians should please ignore the speculation on the price increase.”