Court Orders NIMASA To Repay NLNG Its $315m
Paid Over Blockade Of Bonny Channel
The Nigeria LNG Limited, on Monday, said it had formally issued a demand notice for $315,598,823.29 judgment debt to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, as reported by PUNCH.
The NLNG said in a statement that the sum represented the payments it made under protest to the agency since 2013, as well as direct and shipping losses it incurred due to the initial two-day blockade of the Bonny Channel by NIMASA in May 2013.
It said the development followed the decision on October 3, 2017 by the Federal High Court, Lagos that the NLNG was not liable to make the said payments to NIMASA, and that all such payments already made by it to NIMASA should be repaid forthwith.
The firm stated that the court, presided over by Justice Mohammed Idris, further held that NIMASA was wrong in blockading the Bonny Channel for the purpose of enforcing the payments against the NLNG.
The General Manager, External Relations, NLNG, Dr. Kudo Eresia-Eke, said, “The Federal High Court ruling transcends being simply a legal victory for the NLNG. It must be viewed for what it really is: A resounding message from Nigeria to the global investment community.
“The message is that we can be trusted to keep our sovereign word and that Nigeria remains open for business, partnership and investments.”
NIMASA had alleged that NLNG was liable to pay three per cent gross freight levy on its international inbound and outbound cargo, Sea Protection Levy; two per cent cabotage surcharge as well as other sundry claims, all of which the NLNG disputed.
The NLNG in 2013 led the case at the Federal High Court against NIMASA, seeking a judicial determination on, among other things, the legality or otherwise of the levies sought to be imposed on the NLNG by NIMASA, and the consequent blockade of the Bonny Channel by NIMASA and its agents as a result of the dispute.
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