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Nigerian Senate. Photo credit: oriental times

The Nigerian Senate plans to increase the price of petrol, AGO, and Aviation fuel by N5 on every litre. According to the Senate, it would improve the management of the nation’s infrastructure. The Bill for National Road Fund 2017 was presented by Senator Kabiru Gaya representing Kano State Senatorial District, and Chairman Committee for Works. The sixteen man led Committee is seeking the passage of the Bill for the provision of funds for the maintenance and rehabilitation of national roads. The Bill has scaled through the first and second reading and has gone for public hearing.

However, some respondents who spoke to NaijaVoxpop said that “it would amount to multiple taxation and lead to an increase in the prices of goods and services. They are of the opinion that it would hurt the Federal Government economic recovery drive. They said that the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency Act (FERMA) of 2007 has addressed the financing of road maintenance in the country.

Under the Federal Maintenance Agency Act 2007, Section 4 states that “(1) The Fund of the Agency shall consist of – (a) the take-off grant from the Federal Government; (b)

Annual subvention from the Federal Government as provided in the Appropriation Act; (c)

loans and grants-in-aid from federal, bilateral and multilateral agencies; (d) rents, fees and other internally generated revenues from services provided by the Agency; (e) alimonies collected from the toll gates; (f) such monies accruing from road concessions; (g) all other sum accruing to the Agency from time to time; (h) 5% user’s charge on pump price of petrol, diesel and of which 40%

will accrue to FERMA and 60% to be utilized by the established State Roads Maintenance Agencies.”

If the FERMA Act 2007 prescribes an elaborate means of financing road maintenance in the country, could the National Road Fund Bill 2017 amount to an attempt to implement multiple taxation and increase the financial burden on the average road user in the country?

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