Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has tasked the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) , Hadiza Bala Usman to mandate Tropical West Africa, an offshore company to pay its normal dues to the federal government as required by the law.
Ifeanyi Mazeli, President of the NPA branch of MWUN told journalists in Lagos, Tuesday that the oil firm has been paying their dues in local currency which according to him, negates the rule of the game as well as amounting to revenue leakage.
According to him, the company which is operating both at Lagos and Cotonou offshore engages in Ship-To-Ship (STS) transloading and that whether it does so with small or big vessel does not matter but should pay the federal government its normal charge as others.
He stated that since there is no refinery in Lagos and Cotonou, the vessel transloads products from foreign vessel that comes from outside the country, hence, it should be made to pay the regular fee.
He however cautioned that the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman does not have the capacity to unilaterally grant waiver to the company saying if the company wants to get a waiver, it should approach the presidency.
Mazeli said, “In fact, there is one issue we just addressed during the National Executives Council meeting and that is the issue that will lead to financial leakage.
“There is this Tropical West Africa, they claim to be offshore whatever and they are using Lagos offshore and Cotonou offshore, the truth is that there is no refinery in Lagos midstream and Cotonou mainstream, we know that one and every vessel that comes in, comes in from outside the country and these people are trying to say that they will not pay in foreign currency because they do Ship to Ship (STS) translocating and the product comes from abroad whether bigger vessel brought it and smaller vessel carried it, it is the same thing.
“We have been saying it and asking the Managing Director (MD) of NPA does not have the power to give waivers to Tropical West Africa.
“Tropical West Africa should pay their normal charges and in foreign currency. If they are seeking for waiver, they should go to the federal government and if they get it from there, the NPA has no authority than to obey.
“If you are doing STS, what matters is not he size of the ship that came to transload from the midstream but the fact that the product was not refined in Nigeria and so it should pay the normal due.