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Less than two days after the House of Representative had disagreed with the presentations of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on the real value of debts owed by contractors, the Office of the Public Affairs at the agency has issued a statement claiming that the debts owed NIMASA by some operators in the maritime industry from 2004 till date amount to about 420.5 million US dollars.
The statement read in parts: “This clarification was made by the Director General of the Agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside during an engagement with the House of Representatives Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration in Abuja on Tuesday.
“Refuting the claim that the Agency was owed monies in excess of 10 billion US dollars, Dr. Peterside said it was not correct given that the freight element of shipping of shipping trade in the last four years is not up to USD10bn.
“According to him, “the entire freight element of shipping trade in Nigeria in the last four years is less than $10bn”.
“In response to a petition received by the Committee purporting that the Agency had engaged a consultant to assist in recovering its money without following due process, the DG told the Committee that due process was followed in selecting the Consultant as the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) had also issued a Certificate of No Objection for the purpose.
“The DG who noted that the Agency has been making concerted efforts to recover these monies with little success also said that this necessitated the Management, utilising international best practices, to employ the services of a consultant to assist in recovering these funds.
The statement added that “the Agency had engaged the services of Messrs Snecou Financial Services Company Limited to assist in recovering debts owed NIMASA which are put at $420.5mn with the aim of channeling these funds into developing critical infrastructure as well as knowledgeable manpower for the maritime industry.
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