House directs probe of $4.8bn spent on demurrage

The House of Representatives has directed an investigation into the wasteful spending of over $4.8 billion in the last three months by federal government in the payment of demurrage to foreign vessel operators.
This followed a motion moved by Hon. Yakoob Alebiosu urging the House to direct its searchlight into this practice.

According to Alebiosu, when Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), Kerosene (DPK), Diesel (AGO) and Aviation Fuel are imported into the country and where there is delay in discharging these products, the companies charges extra cost.
He explained further that the Naval officers had prevented fuel laden vessels at ports from discharging, despite the fact that these ships had been cleared to sail on Nigerian territorial waters.

“Findings have revealed that for the past three months, the Federal Government has been paying over $4,800,000 daily to vessel owners of about 16 vessels which are yet to discharge.
“If the Federal Government’s unnecessary payment of demurrages on oil vessels is not checked, revenue running into Billions will continue to be lost vi these payments as a result of the delay in the process of discharging the product on the vessels.

“Nigerians might have to groan and cope with yet another round of scarcity of premium motor spirit commonly referred to as petrol as finding have revealed that fuel currently being used is the last batch from the reserves.
“This development is likely to cause untold hardship to both citizens and the government. While the citizens would have to cope with the scarcity of fuel which will adversely affect the economy, the federal government is losing huge revenue.”

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