15 July 2015, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The chairman, OTL Africa Downstream, Mr. Emeka Akabogu, has faulted the speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, on his claim that the Federal Government can not remove subsidy on petroleum products unless the Price Control Act of 1977 was amended or repealed.
The speaker had said in Abuja that any call for removal of petroleum subsidy can only be done through amendment of the Price Control Act and that the amendment cannot be by presidential fiat or government announcement.
But, in a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday, and made available to Sweetcrudereports, Mr Akabogu contended that neither the Price Control Act nor facts as available relating to its operation show any impediment to the removal of fuel subsidy.
“It is important to note that what the Price Control Act prohibits is sale of “any controlled commodity at a price which exceeds the controlled price.
“A necessary precondition to this provision is that the controlled commodity must have had a controlled price fixed in respect thereof.
By section 5 of the Act, it is only the Board that can fix the controlled price by notice published in the Federal Gazette. I am not aware and the Honorable Speaker has not suggested that the Price Control Board has at any time fixed a controlled price in respect of petroleum products,” Akabogu said in the statement.
He further maintained that the right position of the law on the matter is that where a price has not been fixed by the Board in respect of a controlled commodity, the Price Control Act is of no effect as far as that commodity is concerned.
“As far as petroleum products are concerned, no price has been fixed in respect thereof by the Price Control Board. The removal of subsidy on petroleum products therefore is not limited, affected nor impacted in any way by the Price Control Board Act.
“The subsidy which currently applies to petroleum products is a function of the Petroleum Support Fund which has no statutory backing. The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency,PPPRA, Act only provides for the PPPRA to determine a ‘pricing policy’ for petroleum products and moderate volatility in their prices,” Akabogu added.