President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Wednesday, urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to transmit a bill to the National Assembly to amend the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
Lawan made the call in his remarks moments before he referred the President’s request for the amendment of the 2022 Appropriation Act to the Committee on Appropriation after the bill scaled second reading.
According to him, a request seeking an amendment to the PIA would enable the National Assembly extend the subsidy regime in the Petroleum Industry Act to be in line with the President’s request for an additional N2.557 trillion naira to cover fuel subsidy in the 2022 budget from July this year.
The present subsidy regime is expected to elapse in June 2022, in accordance with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act.
President Muhammadu Buhari, in a letter to the National Assembly dated 10th of February, 2022, requested it to make an additional provision for N2.557 trillion naira to fund petrol subsidy in the 2022 Budget Framework from July this year.
Lawan, therefore, mandated the relevant Oil and Gas Committees of the National Assembly to engage the Executive on a bill to amend the PIA to align with the President’s request.
He said, “This is an opportunity for me to speak to the issue of the Executive sending a request for the amendment of the Petroleum Industry Act to extend the provision of the fuel subsidy which is also requested in the amendment of the 2022 Appropriation Act.
“The Act itself says something else, that there will be no subsidy. If we approve for subsidy in the 2022 Appropriation Act Amendment Bill to us, then it means we have to extend the period in which government will provide subsidy up to the point this subsidy we approve (N2.557 trillion) would last.
“So, there is need to come up with the request for amendment.
“Our Gas and Oil related Committees should work with the Executive side of government to get that sorted as soon as possible, so that what we do is appropriate, and is lawful and legal.”