Real Reason NNPC Lifted Ban On 113 Oil Tankers | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Real Reason NNPC Lifted Ban On 113 Oil Tankers

Posted: Sep 25, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Taiwo Hamzat,


More revelations have emerged on the recent U-turn by the Federal Government over the lift of the embargo earlier placed on 113 oil tankers operating on Nigerian waters.

A source close to the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (Intertanko), who spoke on grounds of anonymity, said the association indeed put pressure on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to lift the ban, warning of severe economic implications of the continued ban of the oil tankers in Nigeria at the international market.

It would be recalled that the corporation, last week, announced the lifting of the embargo barring 113 vessels from engaging in crude oil and gas loading activities in any of the nation’s crude oil terminals.

The NNPC said the decision was based on the receipt of Letters of Comfort (LOC) from all terminal operators, oil companies and off-takers of the Nigeria’s oil and gas as guarantee that nominated vessels were not to be used for any illegal activity whatsoever, pending the outcome investigations.

In view of the above decision, the corporation said the Federal Government had approved the establishment of an Inter-Agency Committee with a mandate to collect data and investigate the activities of the banned vessels within Nigerian territorial waters.

The Inter-agency Committee is made up of the Department of State Services, DSS; Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA; Nigerian Navy; Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, and the NNPC.

Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Ohi Alegbe, said the committee would appraise the culpability or otherwise of each of the vessels in the time past and advise government appropriately on the next line of action.

The NNPC’s decision to lift the embargo, Daily Independent however learnt on Monday, was rather because Intertanko was dissatisfied with reasons listed by the NNPC, following which the association protested swiftly, insisting that there was no valid evidence from NNPC to back its action.

The source explained that Intertanko’s General Counsel, Michael White, in the petition addressed to NNPC’s Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division, Gbenga Komolafe, said for instance, that many of the tankers on the list have been absent from Nigerian waters for quite some time, following which their owners find it difficult to understand why they were blacklisted.