…As Speaker berates agency’s profligacy, corruption
16 June 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Pipeline Products Marketing Company (PPMC) and the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), a subsidiary of the NNPC, are said to be jointly owes the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), about $4 billion.
This was disclosed during a one-day investigative hearing by the House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration on the revenue leakages and operational deficiencies in NIMASA.
According to the Chairman of the committee, Mohammed Umaru Bago, while the NNPC and PPMC jointly owe NIMASA $3 billion, NAPIMS is owing the agency $780 mil¬lion out of the $10 billion supposedly owed it.
The debts are defaults on sundry charges and levies meant to be paid to NIMASA over a 10-year period.
In his presentation to the committee, Director General of NIMASA, Mr. Dakuku Peterside, blamed the huge debt on defaults on the pay¬able 3 percent levy on gross freight earning on and outbound cargo.
He added that issues such as double billing, disclaimed and disputed bills and actual debt have also added to the projected debt profile of the agency.
He said no debt was sup¬posed to have been incurred on the 2 per cent surcharge payment on contract sum on cabotage operating vessel, noting that, “the debt under the ship-to-ship (STS) is a deliberate attempt by companies not to pay non-remittance by international oil companies to the agency.”
On the actual total debt owed the agency, Peterside declined to mention a figure, saying he would not want to give an offhand answer but one based on realistic calculations, which he would send to the committee.
The Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Salahu Zakari, said the negative reputation of NIMASA under the last administration is an issue the Federal Government is committed to correcting.
While declaring the public hearing open, Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, who ex¬pressed regret over the state of the nation’s economy, stressed the need for individual and collective contributions in the area of diversification of our sources of revenue as well as revenue generation enhancement generally.
Dogara, who bemoaned the ongoing investigation of the immediate past management team of NIMASA, noted that “the public perception of NIMASA is that of an agency of government that serves as a cash cow, and is profligate, unaccountable and wasteful of government funds.”