15 August 2012, Sweetcrude, Lagos – HARD times awaits fraudulent shipping firms involved in the manipulation of ship manifest as the Nigerian Government through its maritime safety agency, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has decided to apply severe sanction against culprits.
Giving this warning at a breakfast meeting with maritime stakeholders held in Lagos, NIMASA’s Director General Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi said that the unwholesome practice is robbing government of huge revenue.
Akpobolokemi stated that the agency will weld the big stick on anybody caught in trying to short change the government.
He also directed that hence forth all ship manifest must be submitted to NIMASA a week before the arrival of the vessel that way the agency will have ample time to process such manifest with a view to calculating the correct rate.
He further warned that every unauthorized Mid-stream discharge will no longer be tolerated as this another avenue through which unscrupulous Nigerians with their foreign collaborators deny government of its revenue.
“Any shipping firm that brings its manifest after the arrival of such vessel will seen as a saboteur and will be treated as such.
“The unwholesome practice must be brought to a stop and the government has shown every seriousness to deploy every of its apparatus to these criminals” he added.
He disclosed that platforms are currently being deployed to checkmate the activities of the shipping firms so as to ensure that due process is followed in the course of doing business with the government.
Akpobolokemi said “ Any form of alteration or manipulation of ship manifest is aimed at evade tax and this is unacceptable, the government will no longer tolerate this anymore”
Commending the efforts of the NIMASA’s management, Chief Isaac Jolapamo, President of the
Indigenous Shipowners Association of Nigeria (ISAN) said that agency is providing quality leadership to other stakeholders noting that it only left for other stakeholders to support NIMASA by ensuring that the right thing is done.