Thursday, September 10, 2015 11:49 am
Nigeria has lifted a July ban on 113 vessels into its territorial waters, a letter from the NNPC on Thursday showed.
The letter, dated September 8, said the president had approved the consideration of all incoming ships subject to a letter guaranteeing that they are free and will not be used for any illegal activity.
It added that the president had directed a review of activities of all affected vessels to determine culpability in illegal operations in Nigerian territorial waters.
In a statement signed later by Mr Ohi Alegbe, Group General Manager, Public Affairs, (NNPC) , the NNPC said the lifting of the embargo was subject to the receipt of ‘Letters of Comfort’ from all terminal operators, oil companies and off-takers in Nigerian Oil and Gas sector.
It said the lifting is subject to the outcome of detailed investigation into the reasons why they were embargoed.
The corporation noted that in view of the above, the Federal Government has approved the establishment of an Inter-Agency Committee to investigate the vessels.
The 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.
“The Inter-Agency Committee will appraise the culpability or otherwise of each of the vessels in the time past and advise appropriately,’’ the NNPC stated.
The vessels were banned in July via a memo by Engr. G.O Komolafe, then NNPC’s Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division. Komolafe is now assigned to special duties.
The vessels were banned from operating within Nigeria’s territorial waters and the 27 oil lifting terminals.
No reason was given then,triggering complaints by the vessel owners.