Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives has commenced the probe of 12 shipping companies for allegedly owing the Federal Government $300million freight charges that they ought to have paid to the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Speaking at the public hearing organised by the House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, in Abuja, the Chairman of the committee Hon Muhammad Balgo said the Green chamber would leave no stone unturned in its determined bid to recover the debt.
The lawmaker said the Committee as part of its assignment would also investigate revenue leakages in the maritime sector as well round tripping by companies operating in the sector.
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However, speaking at public hearing, the representative of Gac Shipping company, Mr. Rafiu Adesola said what his company is owing the Federal Government is $147 million and not $172 million as stated by the committee..
According to him, “From 2004 to August 2009, we handle transaction with Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG).
We are aware NLNG is owing $147million. We handle vessels for NLNG. The statement from NIMASA shows that from 2014 – 2018 the company is owing the federal government the sum of $151 million”.
On the other hand, Daddo Marine Service and Maersk Nigeria limited admitted that they owe the federal government the exact amount, the Committee mentioned.
The Committee directed all the companies to make available to it all necessary documents on their debt profile and other relevant documents relating to their operations.