Posted by News Express | 4 October 2017 | 1,499 times
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) may appeal the judgment delivered on Tuesday by Justice M. B. Idris of the Federal High Court, Lagos Division in the matter between the Agency and the the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG).
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside has expressed the Agency’s dissatisfaction with the judgment, stating that “the Agency’s Legal team are waiting for the certified true copy of the judgment, which we will study and respond as appropriate”.
In 2013, NIMASA had requested the NLNG to pay all statutory levies accruable to the Agency, including the 3 percent levy on gross freight on inbound and outbound international cargo, 2 percent Cabotage levy and Sea Protection levy, stating that the NLNG was not exempted from payments of statutory levies after its tax holiday ended many years ago.
Section 2 (1) of NIMASA Act states: “This Act shall apply to ships, small ships and crafts registered in Nigeria and extended to ships, small ships and crafts flying a foreign flag in the Exclusive Economic Zone, Territorial and Inland Seas, Inland Waterways and in the Ports of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”. The only vessels exempted from levies under the NIMASA Act, as spelt out in Section 2 (2) are “…warships and military patrol ships”. (Section 2 (2).
NIMASA has portfolios of statutory revenues that it collects from shipping companies/ship operators, manning agents and seafarers. This, the Agency pays into the coffers of the government. It is within these funds generated that the Agency uses to develop and police the maritime sector. NIMASA does not receive on any government allocations.
In 2013, the court had ruled on the agreement by both parties which stipulated that NLNG would pay outstanding levies and also to continue to pay all applicable levies in line with the NIMASA mandate.
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