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National Assembly okays roads fund, federal audit service commission bills

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PROCEEDINGS OF THE NIGERIAN SENATE OF WEDNESDAY, 22ND MAY, 2019<br />Welcome to a new Legislative Day in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria! Photo/Facebook/NgrSenate

The National Assembly has passed the National Roads Fund Bill to ensure periodic maintenance of the highways.

To actualise the move, the House of Representatives yesterday endorsed the conference report on the piece of legislation co-chaired by Senator Kabiru Gaya and Rep Tobi Okechukwu.

When assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, the proposed law would be funded from levies on imported and locally refined petroleum products; axle load control charges, toll fees, international vehicle transit duties, inter mass transit user charges, roads fund surcharge, leases, licences or other fees from non-vehicular usages.

Other funding sources include grants and loans by the federal, state or local governments, statutory corporations, agencies or institutions, international organisations, private foundations, kind spirited individuals among others.

The bill stated that any erring citizen shall be imprisoned for six months or pay a fine not exceeding N500,000 or both.

On road fund surcharge, it stipulates a 0.5 per cent payment on the assessed value of any vehicle imported at any time into Nigeria, adding that the money must go into the designated accounts of the Fund with evidence provided to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for clearance.

The bill further stated that the NCS shall be responsible for assessing and ensuring the acccurate remittances and the minister would have the powers to review and determine the amount to be charged as surcharge from time to time.

For levy on imported petroleum products, the legislative document said N1 per litre on any volume of petrol and diesel products shall be paid into the fund’s accounts.

It added that the fee shall be deducted from the pump price of petrol and diesel and paid into the fund, pointing out that the minister shall in consultation with the Minister for Petroleum review the amount to be charged as fuel levy periodically.

Regarding locally refined petroleum products, the piece of law held that N1 per litre on any volume of petrol and diesel refined or sold in Nigeria should go into the agency’s accounts.

The fund is to be administered by a governing board among others, consisting of a non-executive chairman to be appointed from the private sector, representatives of the ministry of finance, Nigerian Society of Engineers, National Association of Road Transport Owners.

In a similar vein, the Senate okayed the Federal Audit Service Commission ( Establishment, etc.) Bill to strengthen the anti-corruption fight in the country.

Scaling the third reading yesterday, the upper legislative chamber mandated its leadership to liaise with the President with a view to getting his approval.

The passage followed the presentation and consideration of the Matthew Urhoghide (Edo: PDP)-led Committee on Public Accounts on a Bill for an Act to Establish the Federal Audit Service Commission, Repeal the Public Accounts Implementation Tribunal and for Matters Related Thereto (SB.742).


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