20 May 2013, Lagos – Director-General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, revealed at the weekend that the Federal Government has waded into the feud between his agency and the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited, NLNG, over unpaid levies, asking the latter to make payment to his agency.
“We had to enforce our laws relating to the payment of levies by the NLNG. The company refused to pay its indebtedness to us and that act emboldened others not to pay.
“But as at today, the government has seen reason with us and has asked NLNG to pay the debt. We should have started the calculation of what they are owing us from 2004 when they hit over 3 percent in gas price sales but we will start the calculation from 2009 and whatever it comes to, they have to pay us,” he said.
Under the Act, NLNG enjoyed a 10-year tax holiday and was exempted from paying 3 percent of its gross freight on all international inbound and outbound cargo to the government.
NIMASA maintains that the tax holiday terminated over ten years ago and that the NLNG should have started paying taxes and levies to the Nigerian government since 2004.
Non-payment of the levies, calculated by NIMASA as amounting to billions of Naira, forced it (NIMASA) to move against NLNG, disrupting its exports for many days earlier in the month.