Suspended Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, has dismissed media reports suggesting that the NPA management under her leadership breached NPA rules and exempted the Dangote Group of Companies from paying certain statutory charges at the Onne Ports, River State.
“I wish to state with all emphasis that these accusations are false and mischievous,” she said in a statement.
According to her, “Even the letter dated February 5, 2019 (published in the media report), communicating the Authority’s decision on this subject to the management of Intels Nigeria Limited states in the last paragraph: “Hence, the Authority therefore directs that all cargoes of Messers Dangote Industries Limited and indeed all importers being directed to onne ports for customs clearance, specifically for these projects, and are multi-purpose in nature to be treated by applying the same operational rates used by other multi-purpose terminals.” This paragraph is explicit about the fact that all multi-purpose cargoes diverted to Onne were expected to benefit from this directive.”
Giving the background to the directive, Ms Bala Usman said: “Until 2018 when the Authority wrote when the Federal Government approved the decategorisation of Onne Ports as the solely designated oil and gas terminal in Nigeria, only oil and gas cargoes called at the ports, contrary to global practices in the maritime industry. “For reasons, which included national security, ease of doing business as well as the need for Nigeria to embrace international best practices, this oil and gas monopoly was removed in 2018.