CRUDE OIL THEFTS: We Have No Record of Ships Working On Nigerian Oil Fields—-NIMASA
By DAPO OLAWUNI
In the face of ongoing bursts on crude oil thefts and illegal activities taking place in Nigerian oil fields, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has said that it has no record or access to the ships coming into the oil fields through the International Oil Companies (IOC)
DAILY TREND recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari recently approved the hiring of former Niger Delta warlord, Chief Government Tompolo, and his security company, Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited to check crude oil theft in the Niger Delta.
The security outfit has so far uncovered more than 58 illegal tapping points used by crude oil thieves in Delta and Bayelsa states.
Some of the tapping points were attached to Trans Forcados Export Trunkline, including an illegal four-kilometre pipeline connected from the Trans Escravos line directly to the sea.
Tompolo’s men recently ambushed and arrested eight members of a suspected crude oil syndicate while they were pumping crude oil from a Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL, pipeline in Delta State, into an improvised 87-metre long ocean-going vessel, MT Deino
However, in an interview with an online magazine OnepageAfrica, the Director of Safety at NIMASA Eng Olu Aladenusi has now revealed that the apex agency does not have record or access to vessels entering into the Nigerian offshore and oil fields to carryout operations.
Eng Aladenusi however implied that NIMASA and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) are collaborating to address the anomaly by contacting the shipping agents in Nigeria.
“Without prejudice against anyone, the main challenge is this, some vessels are owned by foreigners, and they don’t come to our waters directly, they go offshore to operate. And when they go offshore to operate, we have no access to them when they work in the oilfields.
“But as I speak now, we have a letter from DPR, to collaborate with them, to always make such lists available to us, and we contact the agents/owners and they give us access to them. And when there is any accident, NIMASA is mentioned.
“But these vessels come directly from abroad, brought by the, IOCs to come and work on their fields; we don’t have record of those vessels.” he stated
Eng Aladenusi noted that operating a vessel is capital intensive, hence the need for the federal government to create insentives for Nigerian ship owners.
“Like you have in the airline operations, some of the spare parts are duty free, but such incentives are not given to ship owners in Nigeria.
“So if they can enact a law that can take off the duties, it would mean a lot of relief, because the duties alone to bring spare parts are massive, unlike the airlines where they don’t pay duties on spare parts.
“It would be truly encouraging if the government can come to this area and assist the ship owners, so that you don’t continue to manage equipment when they are bad and you have to keep making repairs, when there should be new ones on board. They have the money, but when you add the Customs duties and all, they find it difficult to maintain their ships as required.” He said