The President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has finally settled for the extension of total removal of petrol subsidy by about 18 months.
To this end, the President will send a bill proposing an 18-month extension to National Assembly for the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) scheduled to take off in February.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, disclosed this to State House correspondents in Abuja on Tuesday at a briefing on the current status of the Federal Government’s plan on PMS subsidy as regards the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act.
“We are proposing an 18-month extension but what the national Assembly is going to approve is up to them.
“We would approve an 18 months extension and then it is up to the national Assembly to look at it and pass the amendment as the see it,” Sylva said.
He said the suspension of the subsidy followed President Buhari’s insistence that all the necessary structures must be put in place to cushion the effect of the removal.
“The structures as pointed out by the President are not in place yet
“With the President’s intervention, fuel subsidy is not on the cart for now,” Sylva told newsmen.
He said the federal government would continue to engage the leadership of the Organized Labour who had planned a nationwide protest on January 28 to pressure the government against the subsidy removal.
“We don’t intend to remove subsidy now. That is why are making this announcement.
“We also see the legal implication. There is six months provision in the PIA which will expire in February and that is why we are coming out to to say that before the expiration of this time, as I said earlier, we will engage the legislature.
“We believe that this will go to the legislature, we are applying for amendment of the law so that we would still be within the law.
“Somebody mentioned here the possibility of gradual increase, that is not on the table as well. Gradual or increment in whatever guise is not on the table.
“We are going to see how to rejig the law, this is not going to be the only amendment to the PIA. A few months ago, the President already proposed an amendment to the law,” the minister also said.
Persecondnews.com recalls that President Buhari had on August 16, 2021 assented to the Petroleum Industry Bill following the passage of the bill by both the Senate and the House of Representatives in July 2021.
Expectedly, the PIA will grow investors confidence in Nigeria’s petroleum industry and create more job opportunities for the host communities and other Nigerians as explained by the Managing Director/CEO of NNPC Ltd, Malam Mele Kyari.