Monday, 5 June 2017

There is No plan to increase the price of fuel-Senate panel chairman


National Assembly has declined plans to increase the pump price of PMS(Premium Motor Spirit )by Five Naira(N5), pronouncing such a decision was not been discussed at the senate.

Chairman of the Senate committee on works Mr. Kabiru Gaya (APC-Kano) made it clear in an interview with reporters in Abuja during the weekend.

But despite the clarification made, the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) supported Nigeria’s organised labour over the “planned increment”.

The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties accused National Assembly of taking more selfish decisions than decisions that could better the lives of the amasses.

Chairman Kabiru Gaya, however, said information about the “Road Fund Bill” proposed by his committee was misunderstood, announcing that those speculating it are creating negative perception in the hearts of the people against the Senate.

The senator, who accused some people of trying to make mountains out of mole hills, said the misinformation on the proposed bill was an attempt aimed at denting his image and that of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration by mischief-makers, who should rather educate the public on the true position of the bill.

He said: “They said the Senate is increasing the price of fuel? That was wrong! They don’t even understand what we are talking about. In the past seven years, I have been in the Senate. There was a Five Naira (N5) levy for which the Petroleum Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPRA) was meant to be deducted, not to increase, even when fuel pump price was sold at N87 per litre from the amount sold and remit to FERMA to maintain roads.

“From our estimate, PPRA has not paid N167bn to FERMA. I brought up this issue then and wanted to continue this time again that the same N5, which was meant to be paid before and they didn’t pay and now should also be deducted and removed from the N145 not to increase.

“People are complaining because they don’t know the challenges before we in the Committee of Works. We have a lot gaps to cover because there are about 34 projects that were not put in the 2016 budget. But we make sure that they are now put in the 2017 budget. “They were in the budget of 2016 but were shortchanged and the Buhari administration endorsed these jobs, but they were not in the contracts in the budget. So, we said there is no way the executive council will endorsed a project and it’s been announced and it is not put in the budget.

“The Committee of Works said these projects should be put in and we praised the Senate President and the Speaker of the House, who made sure that those projects are included in the budget.”

But the CNPP, in a statement by Chief Willy Ezugwu its Secretary General, yesterday, said to the Federal Government and Senate that their proposed N5/litre of fuel tax will be resisted.”

The Alh Balarabe Musa-led umbrella body of all registered political parties and associations in Nigeria also warned the Presidency of the imminent backlashes of adding to the pains of the Masses by raising the pump price of fuel under any guise.

“Our researches have made it clear that the bill labelled: ‘National Roads Fund (Establishment, etc) Bill 2017’, proposing that N5 to be paid per litre of fuel imported into the country is a ploy by the Federal Government to impose more hardship on Nigerians at a time the burden of recession in the country is becoming unbearable.

“We reasoned that the Federal Government should be thinking of suppressing the hardship in the country after failing to fulfill the promised increment in minimum wage and non-payment of arrears of workers’ salaries and allowances in the past 2 years.

“It seems that the current Federal Government and their National Assembly collaborators enjoy inflicting more pains on Nigerian masses.

“We are a lot puzzled on why the Senate Committee on Works would make such proposal in its final report on the bill .

“Are they saying that the only way this government can raise funds is by adding to the pump price of petroleum and suffering the masses?” the CNPP queried.

The Nigerian built up labour, students and others have vowed to resist any attempt by government to indirectly or otherwise introduce a hike in the pump price of fuel, given the country’s economic hardship.

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