Dakuku Hails Appeal Court Judgment on NLNG, NIMASA Dispute

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Dakuku Peterside

•  We are law-abiding, says gas company

Davidson Iriekpen

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, yesterday hailed the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Lagos, which last Friday set aside an earlier judgment of the Federal High Court that had exempted the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) from paying some levies payable to the maritime regulator, saying it has reaffirmed confidence in the judiciary.

This is coming as the NLNG also yesterday said as a responsible corporate citizen, its remains committed to conducting its business in accordance with the laws of Nigeria.

The Court of Appeal had said NIMASA was not given fair hearing at the lower court.

Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba, who delivered the judgment, ordered that the case be sent back to the High Court for fresh trial under a different judge.

 Reacting to the ruling, Dakuku said NIMASA remained law-abiding and will continue to work closely with the judiciary in matters that need clarity and interpretation.

He said, “This judgment has further shown that the judiciary is unbiased and remains a beacon of hope for Nigerians. On our part as a responsible government agency, we will continue to work closely with the judiciary and other stakeholders to ensure that we realise our mandate of creating a robust maritime sector in line with best global practices.”

 Dakuku further stated, “NIMASA and NLNG are neither foes nor competitors. We are corporate cousins working together for the common good of our great country. Judgments like this only serve to strengthen our institutions and ensure greater bonding.”

Meanwhile, NLNG yesterday said as a responsible corporate citizen, its remains committed to conducting its business in accordance with the laws of Nigeria.

It also pledged to abide by all applicable laws, including those that confer exemptions on and grant fiscal incentives to businesses, as a way of sustaining their operations and growing the economy.

In a statement signed by its Manager, Corporate Communication and Public Affairs, Andy Odeh, the liquefied gas company noted that with verdict of the Court of Appeal, it expects that all persons, institutions, agencies and authorities in the country would abide by the laws of the land.

“NLNG as a good and responsible corporate citizen remains committed to conducting its business in accordance with the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and to abide with all applicable laws including those that confer exemptions on and grant fiscal incentives to businesses, as a way of sustaining their operations and growing the economy.

“NLNG also reasonably expects that all persons, institutions, agencies and authorities in the country would equally be subject to these laws.

“The company has contributed – and continues to contribute – significantly to the development of its host communities in particular and the nation in general, in line with its corporate vision of helping to build a better Nigeria.”