Fuel subsidy; Federal Government set to seek fresh amendment to the Petroleum Industry Act
Fuel subsidy issue has been a lasting fight between the government and the people and it has become a norm withj different thougts and opinion as regards the subsidy.
It would be recalled that sometimes last year, there were rumours that the government was going to completely remove subsidy which in no time, generated controversy among the people. However early this month there was a report that by mid-year subsidy would be completely removed as according to the government, only a few are benefiting and even as she says a lot of sharp practices are occurring there.
Meanwhile the labour unions in the country have vow to go on strike should the government remove subsidy. And this has been a subject of discussions among people both on the strret and in several media houses.
In view of this happenings, President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, the federal government said it will seek fresh amendment to the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), to avert legal crises.
Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources had disclosed while briefing Journalists in Abuja on Tuesday that “the extension was the collective position taken by the government on the issue of the fuel subsidy removal”
Sylva revealed that the government will soon propose an amendment to the PIA, that will include an 18 months extension of the current subsidy regime.
The government also revealed plans to fast tract the introduction of alternate fuel for cars, in the form of auto gas.
He disclosed that the conversion of petrol engine cars to gas propelled engines which was proposed last year, as part of effort to stop the fuel subsidy, has reached an advanced stage.
The minister however said Government is targeting over one million cars that will be converted initially, while gas filling stations will also be built, ahead of the government’s fuel subsidy removal plans
“We want them to come to Nigeria and set up. They are willing to provide 50% of the funding and we are discussing with the Ministry of Finance on how we can match them with the remaining 50percent.
The policy, which Sylva stated had gone to an advanced stage, is now awaiting the Federal Executive Council, FEC approval, “once it is approved, the process of Nigerian marketers accessing the funding and conversion and building the gas stations will begin”