By Ben Agande
Abuja—The umbrella body of ship owners/ shipping companies and terminal operators in Delta Ports, under the aegis of Delta Shippers Association, DELSA, has called on the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, to investigate the practice of compelling its members to pay statutory pilotage bills in dollars using black market rates by licensed agent of the NPA.
In a letter to the NPA MD, the group alleged that the NPA licensed agent raises “outrageous and fraudulent pilotage bills” on port charges and dues for industrial boats and barges operating within the country’s coastal waters.
“Boat owners have been compelled by NPA agent (Messrs. Intels Nigeria Limited) to pay Dollars at black market rate, as against the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, prevailing rate. This trend has been on for some time now and if not checked, will snowball into billions of dollars rip-off by the agent from boat owners with a negative impact on Nigeria’s economy.”