Sunday, March 3, 2024

Nigeria High Commission owes £7.1m congestion charges, others in UK

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office released figures on Tuesday, showing that the Nigeria High Commission in London owes a total of £7,148,105 (N3,397,859,038.56) for the year 2018.

This was contained in a statement titled ‘Debts owed by Diplomatic Missions and International Organisations in the United Kingdom: 2018’ released on Tuesday by Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Dominic Raab.

The statement showed that the Nigeria High Commission was among the diplomatic missions and international organizations having unpaid charges for the year 2018.

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The Commonwealth Office said the Transport for London was owed more than £116m of unpaid congestion charges by diplomatic officials, with the Nigeria High Commission leading the way, after the US and Japan.

It said the US accumulated a total of 102,255 unpaid congestion charges, which add up to £12.44m adding that the Embassy of Japan had a total of 69,690 unpaid congestion charges which add up to £8,510,650 while the Nigeria High Commission follows with a total of 58,102 unpaid congestion charges which add up to £7,063,965 in lost revenue for Transport for London.

The Commonwealth Office further stated that aside from the unpaid congestion charges, the Nigeria High Commission has £47,165 in outstanding parking fines in the same 2018, adding that the commission also has £36,975 of unpaid National Non-Domestic Rates, which is 6% of the total value of offices of diplomatic missions which they are obliged to pay. These put the total unpaid debt of the Nigeria High Commission at £7,148,105 for the year 2018.

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Raab said the Commonwealth Office had held several meetings with the debtors while encouraging them to defray their debts.

He said, “The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has held meetings with missions which have substantial outstanding parking fine debts. In addition, in 2019 Protocol Directorate wrote to diplomatic missions and international organisations with debts giving them the opportunity to either pay outstanding debts or appeal against specific fines if they considered that they had been recorded incorrectly.”

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