At the plenary on Wednesday,the Senate passed the harmonised version of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill. The passage followed the adoption of the report by the Conference Committee on the PIGB, which harmonised the versions earlier passed by the Senate and House of Representatives. The harmonised version of the bill seeks to unbundle the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and merge its subsidiaries such as the Department of Petroleum Resources and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency into one entity. A copy of the passed bill was obtained by our correspondent on Wednesday. The proposed law seeks to establish the Petroleum Equalisation Fund "into which shall be paid all monies payable to the Equalisation Fund," including a five per cent fuel levy "in respect of all fuel sold and distributed within the federation, which shall be charged subject to the approval of the minister (of Petroleum Resources)." The bill, however, did not state who would pay the levy among the Federal Government, importers and marketers, and consumers. It also did not state the level at which the levy would be paid, whether during exploration, importation or at the retail pump level. It was not stated if the levy would be charged per barrel of oil or per litre of fuel.
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