The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, said on Monday that the only legal way the Federal Government could permanently remove the subsidy on petroleum products was to initiate an amendment to the Price Control Act or have it repealed entirely by the National Assembly.
He noted that in the schedules to the Act, petroleum products were listed among the items to be regulated through pricing.
Dogara also stated that an alternative was for the government to inaugurate the price control board provided for under the Act so that the board, in performing its functions, could remove petroleum products from the list.
“This is the most legal way to do it so that subsidy can go permanently.
“Its is not by policy pronouncements alone; so it is for the government to quickly put the board in place and this issue can be done with once and for all,” the speaker added.
Dogara spoke in Abuja when he received a delegation of members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria at the National Assembly.
The delegation was led by the President of the association, Mr. Chinedu Okoronkwo.
Dogara decried the perennial fuel scarcity in the country, saying the problem would have been mild were the country refining crude for domestic consumption.
He also said, “It is inexcusable that we cannot refine our crude in Nigeria for own consumption.
“Why are the citizens of an oil-producing country queuing up daily for fuel that they have in abundance?
“We need your expertise (IPMAN) to deal with this national shame.”
Okoronkwo earlier informed the speaker that IPMAN planned to build two refineries in the country, one each in Bayelsa and Kogi States.
He explained that the refineries would not only secure employment for Nigerians, but also help in reducing the frequency of fuel scarcity.
Okoronkwo added that IPMAN was also seeking the approval of government to engage in the swapping of crude oil for refined products as an interim solution to the scarcity of products.
According to him, the marketers were prepared to bring in such products at “no cost to government.”