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‘Why Nigeria should benefit from dollar earnings on shipping operations’

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Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman

The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman has gave an insight into why Nigeria should continue benefit from dollar revenue on shipping operations in the country.  

The NPA boss who noted that the organisation has been directed to collect payments in naira and not in dollars, insisted that dollar earning would benefit the nation than naira,  since the international shipping trade is done in dollars. 

Usman, who spoke at the 2017 Budget Performance and 2018 Budget Defence meeting with the House of Representatives Committee on Ports and Harbours in Abuja, said: “The marine industry payment is dominated in dollars, so, even if Nigeria collects the revenue in naira, Nigerians will not benefit from it because the shipping trade is done in dollars.

“Currently, the President gave an approval for us to implement the payments in naira; we discussed with the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor and the Minister of Petroleum and they all recognised that this can be done.

”Central Bank creates a window for the petroleum marketers to access dollars; the petroleum marketers were accessing those dollars and are paying NPA. But, for the time being, they claimed that it was delayed.

“So, what we are saying is to compel CBN to improve on their operations as opposed to making Nigeria collect revenue in naira because CBN is not efficient in providing dollars to the petroleum marketers.

“Another curious leg to it is that NNPC is the sole importer of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol).

So, already from 2012 till date, NPA collects payments from NNPC in naira. If the NNPC is the sole beneficiary, so why are you agitating to collect revenue in naira?

“Since you are the sole importer, you are already enjoying that concession rate because you are government, and you said you are the only one that imports.

”So, why are you now asking for government to collect from others in naira?” she asked.

Usman, however warned that Nigeria might lose about $561.2 million and N34.2 million if the approved 50 per cent rebate on petrol importation is sustained.

The NPA Boss who noted that the NPA already lost $234.4 million and N3.2 billion as a result of the 50 per cent reduction of charges on petrol vessels from 2009 to 2015, consequently advised that such waiver should be immediately reviewed, because it had not impacted on the official pump price of the product, pegged at N145 per litre.

Usman specifically highlighted that in 2018, $561.2 million and N334.2 million could be lost for the same reason.

”If you have done this before, why do you want to re-introduce it. And, if you re-introduced it, let Nigerians know that the price of fuel will be reduced because government has reduced NPA charges by 50 per cent.

”When you look at PPPRA template, you will see NPA charges were reduced by half,” she said.

While calling for immediate review of the policy, Usman stressed the need to ascertain the benefits accruable to ordinary Nigerians in terms of reduction in the price of petroleum products.

“The Nigerian Ports Authority has been given directive to provide 50 per cent rebate on all PMS vessels that are coming into Nigeria.”

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In this article:
Hadiza Bala UsmanNPA
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