Senate Committee on Works yesterday queried Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, over non-remittance of over N700billion revenue to the Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA since 2007.
FERMA, according to the Act establishing the agency, is mandated to collect five percent of revenue accrued from pump price of petroleum products sold across the country from PPPRA every year.
But to the astonishment of the senate committee chaired by Senator Kabir Ibrahim Gaya (APC Kano North), it discovered that PPPRA violated the law for over nine years when the two federal government agencies yesterday appeared before it at the National Assembly in Abuja.
The appearance of the agencies before the committee, according to the chairman, was sequel to a motion by Senator Ali Mallam Wakili (APC Bauchi South) over the non-maintenance of federal roads in the country which has led to loss of many lives and properties.
Responding to questions by the senators, Director of Operations in PPPRA, Mr. Victor Shidok, who represented the managing director, could not give satisfactory explanation on the failure of the agency to remit the money over the years.
Shidok, who tried in vain to convince the senators that the agency only take instructions from the Federal Ministry of Finance on funds remittance, especially on subsidy payment, was later asked to be assisted by the agency’s Director of Finance, who also failed to give satisfactory response to the committee.
Earlier, the acting Managing Director of FERMA, Engineer Peter Odey had declared when asked by the committee chairman, that the agency had not received any kobo from PPPRA since 2007, adding that this has hampered the smooth operation of the agency in carrying out its mandate.
Senator Barnabas Gemade (APC Benue North West), who expressed shock that the PPPRA could not pay the statutory five percent to FERMA wondered why it allegedly paid alleged about N3trillion subsidy on unexecuted contracts.
Gemade accused the PPPRA of violating the Act establishing FERMA, and said the committee should mandate the agency to make arrangement to pay the money into the coffers of FERMA.
Senators Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP Abia South) and some other members of the committee, berated PPPRA for non-remittance of the five per cent statutory revenue to FERMA to fix some roads in the country.
“This is a gross violation of law. It is unacceptable that the five per cent expected to has been remitted since 2007 to FERMA to fix some of our roads have not been paid.
“It’s like the agency is not aware of the Act establishing FERMA and its own responsibility on the law. This must be corrected, Mr. Chairman,” he said.
The Senate committee, however, mandated the PPPRA to remit to FERMA N700 billion to enable it fix Nigerian roads while it also directed the former to provide template for price regulation from 2007 to date.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Works, Senator Gaya had expressed concern over the high rate of carnage on Nigerian roads as a result of their poor state and urged FERMA to be alive to its responsibility and make them motorable.

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