Buhari to Request PIA Amendment 5 Months After Signing, as Fuel Subsidy Removal Burden Falls to Next President

Buhari to Request PIA Amendment 5 Months After Signing, as Fuel Subsidy Removal Burden Falls to Next President

  • Five months after signing, President Muhammdu Buhari will be writing to the National Assembly to seek amendment of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA)
  • The PIA was signed into law on August 2021 and it was followed with fanfare and praises after years of back and forth
  • One key part of the PIA is the removal of fuel subsidy six months after it is signed into law and the government now believes it is not the right time

The Nigerian government has said it would approach the National Assembly with a Bill to delay the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act for another 18 months.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva disclosed this in Abuja, on Tuesday, 25 January 2022 at a press briefing with journalists on the temporary suspension of the proposal to eliminate the payment of fuel subsidies.

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With this, President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration would be dumping the responsibility of taking a decision on the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also called petrol.

Buhari to request PIA Amendment 5 months after signing, as fuel subsidy removal burden falls to next president
President Buhari signed into law the PIA in August 2021 Credit: statehouse
Source: Depositphotos

According to the minister, the administration of President Buhari will write to the National Assembly for an amendment and will seek 18 months extension to continue the fuel subsidy payment.

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The Minister explained:

"Therefore, the time is being extended which is not specific but subject to discussions to National Assembly and amendment of the PIA will be requested for continuing payment for the next 18 months. At this moment, fuel subsidy removal is not on the cards."

By implication, the implementation of the PIA which was to begin in February this year would be shifted to July 2023, two months after the present administration was billed to hand over power by May 29, 2023.

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The Nigerian Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which was enacted into law in August 2021, provides for the complete deregulation of the downstream sector, creating a situation whereby market forces would determine the price of petroleum products.

A section of the PIA read:

“NNPC limited and any of its subsidiaries shall conduct their affairs on a commercial basis in a profitable and efficient manner without recourse to government funds. The organisation shall retain 20% of its funds to grow its business.”

Remove fuel subsidy, rejig economy before 2023

In a related development, a religious group, Nigeria Christian Forum, (NCF), a coalition of Protestants and Catholic faithful have declared their support for the plans of the federal government to begin fuel subsidy removal.

According to the group, the initiative is one step the federal government must be courageous to take to salvage the nation from total collapse.

The NCF said there are indicators that are strong enough to show that, if the fuel subsidy which guzzles a whopping sum of N250 billion monthly was not removed now, Nigeria would have allowed itself affliction that would continue to have a devastating effect on its economy.

Source: Legit.ng

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