19 June 2013, Lagos – The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, Limited filed a case, Tuesday at the Federal High Court, Lagos against the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, seeking judicial interpretation of the legality of the levies imposed on it by NIMASA.
The company said it has also begun payment of the levies in installment ‘under protest, with the Government’s directive to pay the said levies’.
The protracted dispute between both parties arose as a result of perceived conflict in the enabling Acts of both organisations, namely the Nigeria LNG (Fiscal Incentives, Guarantees and Assurances) Act on one hand and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Act, Merchant Shipping Act and Coastal and Inland Shipping Act on the other hand.
NIMASA said its levies were applicable to NLNG, while the latter argued that they were exempted from such levies and charges by virtue of the NLNG Act.
NIMASA had filed a suit against NLNG in 2010 claiming entitlement to these levies. After preliminary proceedings were taken and concluded, and the matter was ready for hearing, NIMASA filed an application to withdraw the suit, and on 3rd May 2013 resorted to self-help by blocking the Bonny Channel for 2 days, thereby preventing ingress and egress of NLNG chartered vessels with attendant financial losses and reputational damage to NLNG and Nigeria in general.
– The Nation