Indigenous Shipowners Considering Legal Actions Over $90m NNPC Debt
Fred Omotara, Lagos
Some indigenous shipowners are already considering seeking legal action over the refusal of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) to pay up debs owed shipowners who rendered chartering services to the company.
Recall that the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) had revealed that the NNPC is owing indigenous shipowners debts running into about $90m.
Speaking to kadecommunicationng exclusively in Lagos, some of the affected ship owners who wouldn’t want their names in print explained that the advise to seek legal counsel is based on the consideration that the NNPC is now a limited liability company that can be sued and can sue.
According to the ship owners, “The NNPC is now a limited liability company that can sue and can be sued. Some of us are already considering seeking legal action because the NNPC is a chronic debtor.
“The debts owed indigenous shipowners is just too much, and the NNPC is not showing any sign of clearing the debts.
“If the NNPC owes foreign shipping companies the way it owes indigenous shipping firms, we wouldn’t be this bothered. But it seems it is only the indigenous operators that the NNPC toys with.
“We are not leaving any option out. Part of what some of us are considering is taking legal action because we are already having issues with our banks.
“The debt is killing our businesses and the earlier NNPC pays up, the better for us as business men.”