Hadiza Usman, Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), says Nigeria might lose about $561.2 million and N34.2 million if the approved 50 percent rebate on petrol importation is sustained.
Usman disclosed this on Thursday during the 2017 Budget Performance and 2018 Budget Defence meeting of NPA management with House of Representatives Committee on Ports and Harbours in Abuja.
She advised that such waiver should be reviewed because it had not impacted on the official pump price of the product pegged at N145 per litre.
She said that NPA lost $234.4 million and N3.2 billion as a result of 50 percent reduction of charges on petrol vessels from 2009 to 2015.
The managing director added that in 2018, $561.2 million and N334.2 million may be lost for the 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 percent.
“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 percent rebate on all PMS vessels that are coming into Nigeria.
“So, we are concerned about that 50 percent rebate because it was instituted and suspended in June, 2015 and within that period (2011-2015), there was no reduction in the price per litre of PMS.
“So, who enjoyed that rebate?
“While the rebate was on, the Federal Government lost 50 percent of the value of the revenue that will be paid for vessels coming into the ports. We questioned that and we need to have clarity on that.
“Now that it is being re-introduced, we need to see that recognition within the PPPRA template, within the price for a litre of fuel.
“We need to see that to enable Nigerians appreciate and recognise the value of the rebate.
“We cannot keep on giving a rebate without it being reflected in price of petrol; we are concerned about that,” she said.
The NPA boss also noted that the organisation was directed to collect payments in naira and not in dollars.
According to her, the marine industry payment is denominated 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 the Nigeria Ports Authority.
“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 PMS. 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 government to collect from others in naira?” Usman asked.
Earlier, Chairman of the committee, Patrick Asadu, urged all federal agencies not to ground the government’s activities because of the 2019 general elections.
He also tasked them on the need to be accountable by ensuring value for money in the discharge of their statutory functions.
The chairman, however, lauded improved budget performance of various agencies under the committee’s purview.
He reiterated the resolve of the National Assembly to synergise with the executive arm in the bid to improve governance.