Nigeria removes import duty on petroleum products
The Nigerian Federal Government has announced the abolition of import duty charged on imported petroleum products. The Petroleum Products Price Regulatory Committee (PPPRC), which made this known in Abuja, in a statement signed by its chairman, Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi, said, "the N 1.50 per litre import duty payable on imported petroleum products is hereby removed, in effect petroleum products are to be imported free of duty and other charges associated with import duty".
This decision, the committee explained, was taken after reviewing and consulting with all the relevant stakeholders in the downstream sector of the oil industry. Stating that the government took the measure in order to ensure uninterrupted supply of petroleum products at the prevailing price regime PPPRC said, "It will continue to monitor the situation to the satisfaction of all stakeholders such that the loss in revenue to the Government will truly assist in moderating price levels of the petroleum products within the price set on 1st January, 2002."
It will be recalled that all the multi-national oil companies involved in the importation of petroleum products
recently stopped importing the product on the ground that the prevailing N 26 per litre of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS)
could not sustain their operation. The oil companies had asked the government to either raise the current price of
fuel or consider the removal of the import tax placed on the product before they could resume importation.
This has left the Nigerian Nation Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with the extra task of undertaking the importation of the entire volume of petroleum products needed to supplement the local supply. Nigeria consumes a total of 8 mm litres of PMS daily and the supply from local refineries is far below this level.
The NNPC has been complaining of the extra financial burden it has been put to since government began to sell crude oil to it at the rate of $ 18 per barrel instead of the previous price of $ 9 per barrel. According to an inside source, the Federal Government has not been able to consider any of the options proposed by the oil companies because of its possible effect on the socio-economic situation in the country.