The Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, yesterday warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government that the removal of the contentious fuel subsidy without constituting a price control board in line with the Price Control Act will be “illegal” and “ultra vires.”
Dogara, who gave the warning while receiving executives of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) at the National Assembly, also described the perennial fuel shortage in the country as a “national embarrassment.”
He said that the Price Control Act, which provides for the regulation of prices of some consumer products, including petroleum products, was yet to be repealed, adding that for the subsidy removal to be effected there must be a price control board, which is the only body vested with the powers to remove petroleum products from the first schedule of the Act.
Dogara said that the alternative way to remove fuel subsidy is for the National Assembly to amend or completely repeal the Petroleum Control Act.
Reports that Buhari has not made clear his plans on fuel subsidy. For economic reasons, monitors have questioned. the practicality of retaining
the subsidy regime. A total of N145 billion subsidy components were embedded in the 2015 Budget. These were made up of N100 billion for subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol, and N45 billion for kerosene.
Meanwhile, at the meeting the IPMAN, in collaboration, with foreign technical partners from Peru yesterday, announced ongoing plans to build oil refineries in Kogi and Bayelsa states. The IPMAN’s national president, Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, said
that the Kogi State Government has allocated over 1,000 square acres of land just as land has been acquired in Bayelsa State for the construction of the refineries which will cost $4 billion. He added that
when completed the two refineries will each produce 200,000 barrels of refined petroleum products daily.