House of Reps reintroduces contentious National Roads Fund Bill

The House of Representatives has reintroduced the contentious National Road Funds bill into the 9th Assembly.
The bill, which did not make it through in the 8th Assembly, was part of 26 bills which went through first reading on Wednesday.

The bill sponsored by two members Rep Okechukwu Toby and Nicholas Ossai caused consternation in the last Assembly over fears that it will add to the financial burdens of the common man and further traumatise the masses who have been already wringed dry by multiple taxes.

The idea behind the bill is to help in the funding, maintenance and administration of the road networks in Nigeria when established.

The technical committee on the review of the bill headed at the time by Chris Okoye had insisted that there is a need to garner at least N100 billion per annum for the NRF, through direct and indirect taxes on Nigerian road users.

The report of the committee was submitted to the House Committee on Works, which was incidentally headed by Rep Toby Okechukwu then.
Some of the technical committee’s recommendation were:

“Fuel levy of N5 chargeable per litre on any volume of petrol and diesel products imported into Nigeria and on locally refined petroleum products.”

According to the committee, other sources of revenue include: “toll fees not exceeding 10 percent of any revenue paid as user charge per vehicle on any federal road designated as a toll road; international vehicle transit charges; inter-state mass transit user charge of 0.5 percent deductible from the fare paid by passengers, as well as surcharge of 0.5 percent chargeable on the assessed value of any imported vehicle into the country.”

At the time, the report, which was submitted to the House Committee on Works for review , was to have been submitted to the House for consideration and adoption.

The bill is now back in the 9th Assembly.

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