Nigerians who do not live close to petroleum depots and riverine areas may have to pay more money to get petroleum products particularly Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol, if the current Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) is signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In lieu of this, the Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) Part IV of the legislation has been removed by the Nigerian senate. What this means is that the masses would have to incur the price parity which the fund has been covering for years since 1975.
Vital programs that are being organized by the institution are delayed as the effect on the agency’s existence cannot be ascertained. This is because the agency was created in the first place to correct price discrepancies by enforcing the Uniform Pricing Mechanism (UPM).
The President did not give approval to a version of the PIGB created earlier on the ground that “expanding the scope of the Petroleum Equalization Fund made some provisions of the draft law to be in divergence from his administrative policy and indeed conflicted with provisions of the fund.”
Long queue at filling station during fuel scarcity
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At the moment, there is a 7.66% of equalization levy on PMS including bridging, Marine Transport Average (MTA) and National Transportation Allowance (NTA). However, a levy of 5%, may be introduced for the purpose of infrastructure financing. There is also fear in some quarters that the unavailability of taxes on a number of white products like LPG, DPK and AGO could bring about an era of exploitation by operators and manufacturers.
In a similar incident, industry experts have outlined reasons behind illegal access of oil in the Niger Delta in a bid to examine the problem leading to the loss of $55 billion in the last ten years.