By Energy Worth
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has assured the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) of its readiness to pay up all the outstanding debt owed to the authority from 2017 to date. According to a statement from the NPA, the total debt estimated at about N2.1 billion for services rendered by the NPA to the Corporation, are to be settled this week.
The statement also said the NPA had assured that henceforth the NNPC would not be charged by the authority for services not offered to the Corporation in order to foster better working relationship with the Corporation.
These were part of the outcome between Hadiza Bala-Usman, managing director of the NPA, and Maikanti Baru, group managing director of NNPC, when the management of NPA paid a courtesy call on the NNPC in Abuja on Tuesday.
While assuring that the NNPC would subsequently ensure steady and prompt payment for services rendered to it by the Authority, the Corporation said it may be constrained to approach the NPA Board for a soft landing on the payment of legacy debts the Corporation owes the NPA, some of which have been outstanding for more than 20 years.
Bala-Usman said her visit to the Corporation was borne out of the desire to strengthen the synergy and collaboration between both Agencies.
According to Bala-Usman, with the planned dredging of the Escravos and Ejigbo area in Lagos, there was a need for the Corporation to bury its pipelines deeper to allow for effective dredging activities to enable deeper draft for bigger vessels to access Warri and Lagos in a bid to enhance the supply of petroleum products and other larger vessels coming into the country.
Baru commended the NPA for securing the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the dredging of the Escravos channel, stressing that the feat would go a long way in stimulating economic activities in the area.
While commending the NPA management under Bala-Usman for ensuring speedy clearance of petroleum laden vessels to berth, Baru said the NNPC would remain grateful to the NPA for the existing cordial relationship between them in the service of the nation.