Nigeria: FG loses 775.2 million dollars on oil, gas cargoes discharged in undesignated terminals

May 24, 2016 12:00 AM

The Federal Government is losing a huge sum of 775.2 million dollars (N152.7 billion) annually on oil and gas cargoes discharged at undesignated terminals. A maritime expert, Mr Emma Ugoji, made the disclosure in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos.

Statistics released by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) showed that Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Refined Petroleum; and Crude oil handled in Nigerian ports in 2015 totaled 160.5 million tonnes.

According to Ugoji, 4.83 dollars is being lost per tonne on oil and gas cargoes discharged at undesignated terminals. He said that in a duly-designated terminal for handling oil and gas cargoes such as Intels Terminal at Onne, 5.83 dollars is currently being paid per tonne as against one dollar in other undesignated terminals.

"Maritime experts hold the opinion that all that the Federal Government needed to do over the years to sustain collectable revenue inflow from transportation, berthing and cargo discharge of vessels was to enforce the policies that have been in existence for many years. "This would boost economic activities in the sector as well as ensure that regulatory agencies enforced rules and regulations without compromise.

"Assessing what has been happening in the sector in Nigeria, experts are of the view that Nigeria has a set of good policies guiding the conduct of players in the maritime sector. "The challenge has been the impunity with which operators, especially owners of private jetties collaborate with shipping companies and importers to flout rules and regulations," Ugoji said.

He recalled that since 1991, there had been at least 37 official correspondences which include letters, circulars and memos from agencies of the Federal Government such as Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigerian Ports Authority, Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Office of the National Security Adviser.

"Added are newspaper publications as well as circulars signed by former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan; resolutions of the Federal House of Representatives insisting that terminal operators should stick to the laws, rules and regulations guiding their operations and stop flouting government policies because of inherent risks, " he said

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