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Controversial National Roads Fund Bill resurfaces at House of Reps


The House of Representatives Wednesday reintroduced the National Roads Fund Bill into the 9th Assembly.

The controversial bill had earlier been introduced at the 8th Assembly but couldn’t make it through.

It was among the 26 bills that went through the first reading at the green chamber on Wednesday.

During its first introduction at the 8th Assembly, it was sponsored by two Reps members, Okechukwu Toby and Nicholas Ossai, and caused controversy in the assembly.

It was argued by some critics that the bill, if implemented, would add to the financial burdens of the common man and make lives difficult for the masses who were already struggling with multiple taxes.

It was learnt that the bill was purposely sponsored to encourage good maintenance and administration of the road networks in Nigeria.

The technical committee on the review of the bill, headed at the time by Chris Okoye, had insisted that there was 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.

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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.

However, the bill is now back in the 9th Assembly with the hope to that it would make it through.

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