House of Representatives Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration has revealed that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, are indebted to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, to the tune of $3 billion in freight charges.
Chairman of the committee, Hon Mohammed Bago, yesterday disclosed this during a one day investigative hearing on the revenue leakages and operational deficiencies in NIMASA.
Bago also hinted that the National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NAPIMS, a subsidiary of the NNPC, was owing NIMASA about $780 million in freight charges.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that on March 9, 2016, the House mandated the committee to probe the alleged revenue leakages and deficiencies in NIMASA amounting to about $10 billion and report to the House within six weeks for further legislative action.
Giving further insight, sponsor of the motion, Hon Jones Onyereri noted that from 2008 to 2015, about $10bn had been lost to unpaid freight charges by government agencies.
Onyereri estimated that Nigeria loses about N2trn annually on freight charges, lamenting that the ineffectiveness of NIMASA in its core mandate had resulted in huge revenue loss.
In his presentation, the Minister of Transport, Hon Rotimi Amaechi said federal government was disturbed by the unwholesome activities in NIMASA.
Amaechi, who was represented by the permanent secretary in the ministry, Zakari Sabiu, told the committee that a new director general was appointed with a clear mandate to sanitise the agency and block all revenue leakages.
The Director-General of NIMASA, Hon Dakuku Peterside admitted that the agency was being owed huge debt spanning from January 2010 to December 2015.
He said under the current administration, they had put measures to block all leakages, adding that, they now had in place a functional satellite surveillance system as well as a dedicated desk recovery unit.
On the alleged $10 billion owed the agency, Peterside said the actual amount owed the agency was nothing near $10bn.
In his address of welcome, the Speaker of the House, Hon. Yakubu Dogara said the former director general of NIMASA was removed because he decided to make the agency a cash cow to few individuals.
He said the essence of the investigative hearing was to recover all these funds and make NIMASA a cash cow for all Nigerians.


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