Motorists, Commuters Kick as Senate Proposes N5 Petrol Charge

Motorists and commuters yesterday kicked against the proposal by the Senate to effect a N5 levy, chargeable per litre, on every petrol and diesel products imported into the country and on other non-locally refined petroleum products.

The Red Chamber said the N5 charges would be a source of revenue generation for funding and maintenance of roads in the country. But road users, including motorists, commuters and motorcyclists in the country described the plan to effect the N5 levy on petrol and diesel an unhealthy development, which if implemented, would cause untold hardship to them. This, they argued, is coming at a time the country is still enmeshed in recession, even as the government is yet to come up with any concrete plan for economic stability.

Those who spoke to LEADERSHIP Friday on the proposed legislation said the development automatically translates to the fact that there will be more trouble for Nigerians as their suffering will heighten. The implication of the bill, which was listed on the Senate Order Paper yesterday, is that end users who are motorists will pay N5 tax on every litre of fuel or diesel bought at any petrol station. The bill titled, ‘National Roads Fund’ was to be presented by the Senate committee chairman on Works, Senator Kabiru Gaya, but was stepped down at the last minute. The National Roads Fund, (EST.ETC) Bill 2017 (S.B218), makes it mandatory that fuel levy of N5 is chargeable per liter on any volume of petrol and diesel products imported into the country and on locally refined products.

If it sails through to become law, the bill will evolve into additional source of revenue for the National Roads Funds, just as it will also provide a predictable and sustainable funding for road management network.