NLNG ordered to pay N25bn owed NIMASA
LAGOS – The Senate Committee on Marine Transport, headed by Senator Zainab Kure, has ordered the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) to pay the N25 billion owed the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA).
The senate committee gave the directive during an interactive session with stakeholders on marine transport sector.
The committee was told that NLNG was cummulatively owing NIMASA the sum of $158 million. The tax include the three per cent gross levy on freight (in-bound and out-bound) cargo ships, two per cent surcharge on carbortage levy and sea protection levy charged on all foreign flagged ships calling at the nation’s ports facilities.
The committee was also told that President Goodluck Jonathan had directed the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, to wade into the rift .
The NLNG paid the initial $20 million but refused to continue the repayment, instead, they resorted to go back to court to contest the payment.
Senator Benedict Ayande (Cross River North), who spoke at the session, stated that the Senate and Nigerians would like to know why NLNG, the Federal Government and some international oil companies would not want to meet its tax obligations.
Agencies that attended the session included the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Shippers Council, Maritime Authority of Nigeria (MAN) and officials of the Ministry of transport.
The senator stated that international oil companies always pay taxes in their home countries adding: “I see no reason why they pay taxes in their countries and will not want to pay the Nigerian government.”