Missing Vessels: NPA Restates Commitment to Anti-corruption War

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Eromosele Abiodun

Following the allegation by the Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff that 282 vessels got missing under the watch of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) between 2010 and 2016, the management of the NPA has vowed to do everything within its power to support the investigation to get to the root of the matter.

The NPA stated this in a statement signed by its Principal Manager, Public Affairs, Ibrahim Nasiru.
Specifically, the NPA restated its commitment to every single effort aimed at sanitising operations at the ports, adding that it will co-operate with all stakeholders and arms of government in the achievement of same.

According to the agency, “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. This was delivered to the Authority by the Nigerian Shippers Council on the instructions of the Senate Committee.”

It added: “The NPA has reviewed the documents as requested by the Committee and has made the following discoveries: Of the 29 items handed over to the NPA on July 20, 2017, only five vessels were identifiable. We discovered that the other 24 items are repetitions of the five vessels that were identified. A report to this effect with relevant supporting documents evidencing payment of all charges for the five vessels has been forwarded to the Senate Committee as requested.

“Concerning the 10 volumes of items numbering 1-1252 handed over to the NPA by the Nigerian Shippers Council, the NPA was unable to conduct a meaningful review as the documents did not provide the data that will enable verification.
“For the purpose of clarification, the documents provided did not have the following: No vessel names were provided, no dates of arrival of the vessels were given (This makes it impossible for us to establish links with the manifest, bill of lading and consignee), no port of call and name of terminal where vessel berthed were provided, no rotation number of vessels was supplied.”

The authority added that it has conveyed these observations to the Senate Committee and looks forward to receiving the required information to enable full investigation.