National Assembly passes harmonised PIGB, imposes five per cent fuel levy
The two chambers of the National Assembly yesterday harmonised and passed the much awaited Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) and imposed a five per cent fuel levy on fuel sold across the country.
Specifically, the levy was imposed to finance the Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF), which was equally provided for by the PIGB.
Section 36 (1) (a) of the bill which is now ready to be transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent states that “There shall be established the Petroleum Equalisation Fund into which shall be paid all monies payable to the Equalisation Fund by way of a five per cent fuel levy in respect of all fuel sold and distributed within the federation which shall be charged subject to the approval of the minister.”
Other sources of funding the PEF include subventions, fees and charges for services rendered as well as net surplus revenue recovered from petroleum products marketing companies.
The bill also states that the PEF shall collect all revenues and levies charged pursuant to the provisions of this bill; determine at such intervals as the board may direct, the net surplus revenue recoverable from any oil marketing company and accruing to that company from the sale by it of petroleum products at such uniform prices as may be fixed by the minister.
Other functions include determining the amount of reimbursement due to any oil marketing company for purposes of equalisation of price of products; the payment of all disbursements, authorised under or by virtue of this bill; accounting for all moneys collected, paid or otherwise expended under this bill.
The PIGB has also created the Nigeria Petroleum Regulatory Commission to, among others, administer and enforce policies, laws and regulations relating to all aspects of petroleum operation.
It is also to monitor and enforce compliance with the terms and conditions of all leases, licences, permits and authorisations issued in respect of any petroleum operations.
According to the bill, the Petroleum Regulatory Commission shall define and enforce approved standards for design, construction, fabrication, operation and maintenance for all plants, installations and facilities utilized or to be utilised in petroleum operations;
Other functions of the commission are to establish, monitor, regulate and enforce health and safety measures relating to all aspects of petroleum operations; establish the framework for the validation and certification of national hydrocarbon reserves; advise the minister on fiscal and other issues pertaining to the petroleum industry; undertake evaluation of national reserves and reservoir management studies.
The bill also empowers the Commission to issue licences, permits or authorisations for downstream gas, petroleum products, storage depots, retail outlets, transportation and distribution facilities for the industry.
Generally, the PIGB seeks to provide for the governance and institutional framework for the petroleum industry.
pecifically, the PIGB seeks to unbundle the Nigerian National Petroleu2m Corporation (NNPC), provide for the establishment of Federal Ministry of Petroleum Incorporated, Nigerian Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Nigerian Petroleum Assets Management Company and National Petroleum Company and Petroleum Equalisation Fund.