By  Godwin Oritse

OPERATORS in the Nigerian maritime and the oil and gas industries have kicked against the implementation of the recently approved  Sea Protection Levy, SPL, saying that the payment of the levy is duplication of the taxes.

Reacting to the implementation of the sea protection levy, some operators from the International  Oil Companies, OICs and local shipping sub-sector were  of the opinion that the development would not bring about additional cost on their operations, but would make them lose more manpower to the bureaucratic procedure in NIMASA.

According to Mr Derrick Later of Total down stream, the newly introduced levy will further eat into their already over taxed profit.

Mr Ola Wasiu of Caverton Marine said the introduction of the levy was uncalled for, adding that it will only complicate an already  bureaucratic procedure in NIMASA.

He, however, canvassed the exemption of vessels that are in the dock yard for repairs, arguing that such vessels can not pay the levy when they are not trading.

A stakeholder from the University of Lagos, Mr. Ege Emmanuel, said NIMASA ought to have called for a stakeholders’ meeting to know their opinion on the matter before getting the convention gazetted

Managing Director of Slok Group, Mr Joseph Nassif said although the idea was good,  its implementation would worsen an already bad case.

Disclosing the commencement of the implementation of the sea protection levy in Lagos, NIMASA’s Director General, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi said the measure was being put in place as a self funding mechanism that would preserve and protect the marine environment against any form of degradation.

He said: “The Federal Government in its commitment   to ensure the protection of the marine environment and its resources ratified the Marine Pollution Convention, MARPOL, Convention which is the major instrument of International Maritime Organisation, IMO, on the prevention of pollution of the marine environment.

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