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The most strategic agencies of the federal government in the nation’s shipping industry, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has finally opened up on why they may continue to collect certain port charges in foreign currencies, especially dollars.
Currently, the NPA charges at the ports include but not limited to Lease and Vessel Fees; payment for Cargo and Shipping Dues; payment for Provisional Bill and Concession Fees; and payment for Pilotage and Royalties.
Also, investigations by Business Hilights revealed that NIMASA charges 3 per cent freight bench mark.
Though the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on Review of Pump Price of Petrol last week directed both NPA and NIMASA to clarify their charges in foreign currency during the committee’s visit to both agencies, both agencies explained why some charges come in dollars.
The Executive Director, Marine and Operations of NPA, Dr Sekonte Davis said NPA gives 30 per cent rebate to Ship To Ship operation adding that both their dollars and naira charges goes into Single Treasury’s Account (TSA) of the Federal Government.
He said that NPA would collaborate with other agencies to arrive at an appropriate calculation to determine NPA charges to make Nigerian ports a preferred destination and accessible for wet cargos.
Sekonte noted that “shipping is an international business and brought into the country a lot of dollars,” stressing that “The authority pays all dues to international organisations on regulation control in dollars”.
He urged the Chief Economic Adviser to President to assist the authority to inform the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to grant the shipping companies access to their dollars on Treasury Single Account (TSA) to reduce time of doing business.
In his response, the Director, Legal Services of NIMASA, Mr. Suleiman Abdulsalam, representing the Director-General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, said the agency was saddled with the responsibility of ensuring safe and secured shipping.
Earlier in her remarks, the Managing Director of NPA, Ms Hadiza Usman, said that the authority was working hard to tackle finance and technical changes affecting the operations of petroleum products.