Nigeria’s Ban On Oil Tankers Causing Confusion For Industry, Traders Claim | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Nigeria’s Ban On Oil Tankers Causing Confusion For Industry, Traders Claim

Posted: Aug 6, 2015 at 1:22 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Obas Esiedesa,  Abuja with agency report


The decision by President Muhammadu Buhari to ban over 100 tankers from Nigerian water is causing confusion in the oil and gas industry, it was learnt on Wednesday.

Reuters reported that the sudden, unexpected and seemingly unilateral decision to ban the vessels through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has left the industry in a mess.

Buhari on Tuesday named Dr. Emmanuel Kachikwu as the new Group Managing Director of the NNPC, a move, stakeholders see as the beginning of effort to clean up the sector.

President Buhari’s directive on the ban of the tankers appeared to be part of a campaign pledge to crack down on oil industry corruption and theft.

But the disarray it has caused, even three weeks on, underscores the problems Buhari faces in trying, as an oil industry outsider, to tackle problems in the sector head on.

“It’s a mess,” one trader said of the ban. “Nobody knows anything concrete.”

Buhari has administered the petroleum sector directly since he took over at the end of May, and said that he would not appoint ministers until September.

But some industry players have warned that the ban could hurt the country’s near-term oil revenue more than the thieves it aims to stop.

“In the end, it’s going to make a much bigger problem for Nigeria than tanker owners,” said Ehsan Ul-Haq, senior market consultant with KBC Energy.