NPA faults Senate committee on alleged missing 282 vessels
Hadiza Bala Usman, MD NPA
The Nigerian Ports Authority NPA has faulted claims by the Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff that a total of 282 vessels were missing under the watch of the authority between 210 and 2016, saying that only five vessels are traceable and identifiable.
A statement signed by the Principal Manager, Public Affairs
Ibrahim Nasiru, on behalf of the General Manager in charge of Public Affairs of the authority said that out of a total of 29 items handed over to the NPA on July 20, 2017, only five vessels were identifiable. According to him, it was discovered that the other 24 items were mere repetitions of the five vessels that were identified.
It was also gathered that the management of the authority has already forwarded a report to this effect to the committee with relevant supporting documents evidencing payment of all charges for the five vessels.
The statement reads in part: “Following allegations that 282 vessels got missing under the watch of the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA between 2010 and 2016 by the Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff, the management of the NPA wishes to state as follows”
“On Thursday, July 20, 2017, the Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff handed over documents containing a list of 29 items which are a combination of vessels and details of individual Bill of Ladings of consignments carried by different vessels to representatives of NPA for review”.
“On July 24, 2017, the NPA received another set of 10 volumes of items numbering 1-1252 alleged to have been transported by vessels said to have called at the NPA ports. This was delivered to the Authority by the Nigerian Shippers Council on the instructions of the Senate Committee”
He noted that NPA has reviewed the documents as requested by the committee and has discovered that out of the 29 items handed over to the NPA on July 20, 2017, only five vessels were identifiable.
According to him, NPA was unable to conduct a meaningful review on the 10 volumes of items numbering 1-1252 handed over to the NPA by the Nigerian Shippers Council as the documents did not provide the data that will enable verification.
For instance, it was gathered that the documents provided by the committee did not have important information such as the name of the vessels and their dates of arrival, a development that made it impossible for the authority to establish links with the manifest, bill of lading and consignee.
Similarly, the document also failed to provide information on the port of call and name of terminal where vessel berthed in addition to failing to provide the rotation number of the vessels in question.
The Public Affairs-boss however assured that NPA will not relent in its commitment to every single effort aimed at sanitising operations at the nation’s seaports.
The authority had therefore pledged to cooperate with all stakeholders and arms of government in its efforts to ensure that the industry was sanitised for transparency and efficient operations.
Currently, the committee is beaming its search light on the operations and financial activities of the authority, especially in the last six years.