By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Following the advice of the members of the National Assembly to the management of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) to jack up its 2021 Budget to cover the cost of rehabilitation and replacement of stolen equipments, the president of National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Mr. Lucky Amiwero has frowned against the advice, saying it would amount to double funding of the project.
The front line maritime expert based his position on the fact that the NPA building was insured for fire and theft and that the NPA did not default in its premium payments.
Amiwero asserted that it is the responsibility of the insurer to rehabilitate the building and replace stolen items, insisting that any move by the NPA management to jack up its 2021 budget for the purpose of the rehabilitation would amount to double fund for the project.
He said: “There are classes of insurance but if the losses suffered by the NPA in the incident were covered, then the insurer takes full responsibility for indeminifying the insured of the losses suffered. That is the essence of insurance. Going again to take money from government is double charge. I don’t want to call it fraud.
“Once the building is insured, the insurance company takes responsibility for everything; that is the truth,” Amiwero stressed.
Recall that when the lawmakers from the National Assembly visited the NPA headquarters recently to assess the level of damage and loss, they asked the Management of NPA to jack up its 2021 budget to cover for the rehabilitation and replacement of stolen equipments.
Speaking during the visit, the Chairman, House of Reresentatives Committe on Ports and Harbour, Garba Datti Muhammad said that members both of the chambers of the National Assembly were in Lagos to assess the level of damage done to the NPA building.
“We have gone round and seen the extent of the damage to the building and vehicles that were burnt in the fire incident. This will help the National Assembly to assist NPA in rebuilding the damage on the torched building. However, part of our discussion with them was for the NPA to bring its budget to the National Assembly because we advised them to adjust the budget to accommodate the rebuilding of the damages,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the General Manager Corporate and Strategic Communication of NPA, Engr. Adam Jato in his response to questions send to him online confirmed that the facility is fully insured by a consortium of insurers.
Though he did not disclose the names of the insurance companies, he disclosed that the lead insurance underwriter has appointed a Loss Adjuster to assess the value of damage and loss NPA suffered as a result of the incident.
Jato, who did not refute NPA’s plan to jack up it’s 2021 budget to accommodate the cost of reconstruction of the building and replacement of looted equipments as advised by the lawmakers, said that as NPA’s 2021 budget is yet to be approved, the figure the Ports Authority will be getting will be in the public domain when it is finally approved by the National Assembly.