[The Legislative Blog]: Extra N5 on all fuel prices? Reps determined to frustrate Nigerians?

If the House of Representatives signs the current National Roads Fund bill into law, Nigerians may pay additional N5 for petroleum products“.

This is conditional, we know but we won’t let it go by assuming this ridiculous bill will not be passed into law.

The National Roads Fund bill provides a Roads Fund that is a depository for revenues generated from road user related charges for financing the rehabilitation and maintenance of roads owned by all the tiers of government.

So according to a recommendation made by the technical committee set by the House Committee on Works, a levy of N5 per litre will be charged on every volume of petrol and diesel products locally refined and imported into Nigeria.

If the extra N5 per litre doesn’t hit home, maybe N150 per litre will. Pump prices are already high as it is, Nigerians are barely getting by and now, the House of Reps members are coming up with more ways to frustrate the populace. Recall that in 2016, the Senate passed a motion to reintroduce toll gates on federal roads across the country. At the time, the excuse was that the government could not do it alone.

Now, the House of Reps is taking its own turn to bring further hardship on Nigerians and from every indication, this Roads Fund if effected, is going to be another huge failure. How do we know?

The Road Fund will be managed by a governing body to be headed by a Managing Director. Without saying too much, we know how ‘governing bodies’ and ‘Managing Directors’ end up in Nigeria. This Road Fund will, in few years, be corruption-ridden and as we’ve learnt from past failed projects of this nature, the so-called Managing Director will end up a frequent face at the EFCC office in a corruption case that will never be solved. Nigerians would have been successfully robbed again.

The onus is now on the Senate to ensure that this bill is unsuccessful. The Senate had promised to effect bills and laws that will help Nigeria come out of the economic recession quicker, this National Road Fund bill will drag us deeper down into the recession.

If the government is so passionate about fixing roads, it should find other ways of raising funds for that purpose.

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