Stories from Anthony Nwachukwu, Lagos
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has questioned the wisdom in the re-introduction of 50 percent rebate on vessels bringing in premium motor spirit (petrol) into the country as it will not lead to reduction in the pump price of fuel.
NPA said with no plan to reduce fuel pump price, both the masses and the Federal Government would be losing $561.2 million and N334.2 million yearly to the 50 per cent rebate on all vessels bringing in petroleum products for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Speaking at the 2017 budget performance and 2018 budget defence before the House of Representatives Committee on Ports and Harbours, Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, argued that since the policy does not reduce the N145/litre pump price of petroleum, it should be reviewed.
According to Usman, the NPA lost $234.4 million and N3.2 billion as a result of the 50 per cent reduction in charges on PMS vessels from 2011 to 2015 and will lose $561.2 million and N34.2 million in 2018.
However, the policy was suspended in 2015 at the inception of the incumbent administration and “if you reintroduce it, let Nigerians know that the price of fuel will be reduced because government has reduced NPA charges by 50 per cent,” she said.
“When you look at PPPRA template, you will see that NPA charges were reduced by half. The NPA has been given directive to provide 50 per cent rebate on all PMS vessels that are coming into Nigeria, so we are concerned about that 50 per cent rebate because it was suspended in June 2015.
“While it was on (2011-2015), there was no reduction in the price per litre of PMS. So, who enjoys that rebate? Now that it is being reintroduced, we need to see that in the price for a litre of fuel to enable Nigerians appreciate and recognise the value of the rebate.”
Similarly, Usman called for a review of the automotive policy, saying it has led to a 20 per cent loss in revenue from car importation. Meant to encourage local production/assembly to reduce importation, Usman argued that the policy has rather caused loss of revenue from car import shutout than achieve its objectives.
“We have recorded a drop in revenue by 20 per cent,” she noted. “How many cars are being manufactured and how many Nigerians can really afford them? The implication is that while government is losing revenue on importation, the manufacturing or assembly plants are not achieving the aims of the policy.”