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Reps To Probe $10bn Revenue Loss In Nimasa

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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BEVERLY HILLS, March 09, (THEWILL) – The House of Representatives has revealed its intention to investigate the alleged $10 billion revenue loss due to leakages and operational deficiencies in the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

The resolution was passed on Wednesday, sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Jones Onyereri, Chairman, House Committee on Banking and Currency.

In his argument, Onyereri revealed that the ineffective execution of the agency’s mandate over the past few years had resulted in financial leakages, maritime insecurity and operational decline.

He added that cases of revenue losses based on the leakages in 3 percent levy on wet and dry charges, 2 percent surcharge, and other revenue sources, amounted considerably to $10 billion over a period of 8 years.

He further posited that the evasion of the payment of levies was caused by un-authorised midstream discharges of cargoes by IOC and oil servicing companies, thereby depriving the country of huge sums of revenues.

He declared that NIMASA had failed to interface with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and IOC over its lifting of crude oil, which are based on the free on board (FOB) instead of cost, insurance and freighting (CIF), for the purpose of enforcing the payments of the 3 percent levy.

According to him, the activities of vessels on temporary importation licence posed a great threat to the Cabotage Act of 2003, which promotes indigenous participation in coastal trade.

While calling for the intervention of the House, Onyereri alleged that the nefarious activities of oil drilling and dredging companies evades compliance largely due to the waivers NIMASA granted, which was said to have caused wilful default, neglect and outright revenue evasion.

To achieve this, Speaker Yakubu Dogara referred the matter to the house joint committee on Maritime Services, Education and Administration for further legislative action and report back within six weeks.

The Committee was mandated to obtain inputs from maritime stakeholders for the purpose of “recovery and improvement of operational efficiency, cleaner ocean and safer shipping as stipulated in the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) charter and the NIMASA Act.”