Senate To Probe Fuel Pricing Template Since 2007
The management of the Petroleum Products Price Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) is to explain to the Nigerian Senate, the template it has been using in determining fuel price since 2007.
The Senate is demanding the explanation on the fuel pricing template to enable it determine accurately the exact amount the PPPRA is owning the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) which is mandated by law to collect 5 percent of user’s pump price from PPPRA.
The fuel price regulatory agency is said have defaulted in the payment of the special charges to FERMA since 2007, a development noticed to have impeded the road maintenance agency in doing its statutory work.
The act establishing RERMA empowers it to receive 5 percent from the PPPRA of user’s pump price and apply same to road maintenance across the country.
But the agency has constantly blamed lack of funds for its inability to carry out maintenance works on the various Nigerian roads in which hundreds of persons are said to have died in several road crashes across the country due to bad roads.
At the interactive session between the Senate Committee on Works and the management of FERMA and that of PPPRA at the National Assembly yesterday, a tentative sum of N700 billion was said to have been owed FERMA by PPPRA.
But, while responding to questions by the senators, Director of Operations, PPPRA, who represented the PPPRA management, could not give a satisfactory explanation on the failure of PPPRA to respect the Act.
During the quetioning, the committee discovered that the PPPRA actually has not remitted any money to FERMA since 2007.
Managing Director of FERMA, Engineer Peter Odey, had raised the alarm that the Agency has not received any money from PPPRA since 2007, a situation, he said, has hampered the desire of the agency to carry out its mandate.
Speaking, at the event, Sen Barnabas Gemade who could barely conceal his disgust over the issue, expressed shock that while the PPPRA could not pay the statutory 5 percent to FERMA it paid alleged over N3 trillion as subsidy on unexecuted fuel importation contracts.
Gemade accused the PPPRA of violating the Act establishing FERMA, and urged the agency to make arrangement to pay the sum quickly.
The Senate committee, however, mandated the PPPRA to remit to FERMA N158 billion to enable it fiix Nigerian roads in the immediate.
It also directed the Agency to provide template for price regulation from 2007 to date to enable it determine in accordance with the law, the actual amount the PPPRA was owing FERMA.
Earlier, in his remark, Chairman Senate Committee on Works, Sen Kabiru Gaya expressed concern over the high rate of crashes on Nigerian roads as a result of bad roads.
He urged the FERMA to rise to its responsibility and make Nigerian roads motorable.