– Gives Daily Trust ultimatum to retract publication against the upper legislative chamber
– Reveals PPRA yet remit over N160bn to FERMA for road maintainance
The Senate on Sunday debunked the news making the rounds over an alleged proposed plan to increase the pump price of petroleum from N145 to N150, saying such has not been discussed on the floor of the Senate and urged Nigerians to disregard the news.
Speaking on the report which has attracted reactions and wide condemnation from various stakeholders, at his residence in Abuja, the Chairman Senate Committee on Works, Senator Gabiru Gaya, said the whole information about the Road Fund Bill proposed by his committee was misinterpreted.
According to him, those speculating it are creating negative perception in the hearts of the good people of Nigeria against the Senate.
He said it is clear that some people are out to make mountains out of mole hills, adding that it was an attempt aimed at denting his image and that of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari by mischiefs makers who should rather educate the public on the true position of the bill.
According to Senator Gaya, “People are complaining because they don’t know the challenges before we in the Committee of Works. We have a lot of work to do because there are about 34 projects that were not included in the 2016 budget but we make sure that they are now included in the 2017 budget.
“They were in 2016 budget but were shortchanged and the government of President Buhari approved these jobs but they were not in the contracts in the budget. So we said there is no way the executive council will approve a project and it’s been announced and it is not included in the budget. So, the Committee of works said these projects should be included and we commended the Senate President and the Speaker of the House who ensured that those projects are included in the budget, said Senator Gaya who said the efforts put in place by his committee, the leadership of the National Assembly and that of president Buhari should be commended.
Asked at what point did the plan to increase fuel price came in, the former Kano State Governor said the whole information was deliberately misconstrued and threatens to take a legal action against Daily Trust.
“They said the Senate is increasing fuel price? That was wrong! They don’t even understand what we are talking about. In the last seven years, I have been in the Senate. There was a N5 levy for which the Petroleum Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPRA) was supposed to be deducted, not to increase, even when pump price was sold at N87 per litre from the amount sold and remit to FERMA to maintain roads.
“From our calculation, PPRA has not paid N167 billion to FERMA. I raised this issue then and wanted to continue this time again that the same N5 which was supposed to be paid before and they didn’t pay and now should also be deducted, reduced and removed from the N145 not to increase.
“Because they just wanted to be mischievous, they used ‘increase’, said Senator Gaya who advised journalists to be professional in discharging their duties such that they won’t create unwarranted tension that could escalate to something else.
He, however, gave ultimatum to Daily Trust to tender apology for its recent publication against the senate on its front page.