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 and Nigerians in general.
The sponsor of the bill Senator Kabiru Gaya at Thursday’s plenary session denied plans to introduce an additional N5 fuel levy, pointing out that the proposed N5 is to be deducted from the existing template of N145 per litre of fuel.
He explained that it would provide predictable funding for roads in Nigeria and create an environment for an effective Public-Private collaboration.
But the Senate stepped down the report to enable other relevant committees to go through its content.
Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu who presided over plenary however maintained that Senate had no plan to increase pump price.
The bill 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.
Its proposal that a fuel levy of N5 per litre on petroleum products as well as toll gates charges, however, proved controversial.