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NLNG Wins High Court Case Against NIMASA | The Precision

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The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos today
delivered judgment in favour of Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) in a case
between the company and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety
Agency (NIMASA) over applicability of NIMASA levies.

NIMASA had alleged that NLNG was liable to pay  three percent gross
freight  on its international inbound and outbound cargo, Sea Protection
Levy, two percent cabotage surcharge on all activities carried out for
and on its behalf, as well as other sundry claims, all of  which NLNG
disputed.
In his judgment, Hon. Justice M.B. Idris, held inter alia, that
NLNG was not liable to make the said payments to NIMASA, and that all
such payments already made by NLNG to NIMASA should be refunded to NLNG
forthwith. Hon. Justice Idris further held that NIMASA was wrong in
blockading the Bonny Channel for the purpose of enforcing the payments
against NLNG.
NLNG, in 2013, filed 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 NLNG by
NIMASA, and the consequent blockade of the Bonny Channel by NIMASA and
its agents as a result of the dispute.
NLNG had also sought a Court Order restraining NIMASA from further
blockade of the Channel. An Interim Injunction granted in favour of NLNG
by the Federal High Court was disobeyed by NIMASA, which again effected
a blockade of the Bonny Channel for over a three week period whilst the
matter was pending, thereby preventing NLNG vessels and other vessels
doing business with the company, from entry and exit through the
Channel.
NIMASA had filed a counterclaim restating its supposed entitlement to receive payment of the levies from NLNG.
Reacting to the judgement, NLNG General Manager, External Relations,
Kudo Eresia-Eke, said: 
 “The Federal High Court judgement reinforces
NLNG’s position that by the provisions of the applicable laws, the
company is not subject to payment to NIMASA of the three percent gross
freight as well as the Sea Protection Levy, and that the two percent
Cabotage Levy is inapplicable because NLNG’s LNG vessels are not
involved in coastal trade or cabotage. This decision also affirms the
sanctity of the guarantees and assurances conferred on the company and
its shareholders by the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
on the strength of which the shareholders made their investments from
which the country has reaped immense returns.
“NLNG as a law abiding company and a good corporate citizen remains
committed to conducting its business in accordance with the laws of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
News Express

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