NIMASA bares fangs
… Detains 4 NLNG vessels at loading bay
Apparently miffed at the manner its levies feud with the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited (NLNG) has played out thus far, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) at the weekend issued orders detaining four vessels connected with the gas company.
The affected vessels are LNG Enugu, LNG Oyo, and LNG Imo, which Nigeria’s apex maritime regulatory agency barred them from accessing or leaving the gas company’s loading bay.
Similarly, one chartered vessel, Torm Thames, was asked to remain at the company’s loading bay.
Two NIMASA boats, which had 15 personnel of the Nigerian Navy (NN) onboard, were used to enforce the blockade.
Having served detention notices/orders on vessels owned or charterd by the NLNG, NIMASA posited that this course of action was to enforce Nigerian laws.
Deputy Director and Head, Public Relations, NIMASA, Mr. Isichei Osamgbi, stated that the action “was forced on NIMASA by the NLNG’s subsequent refusal or/and failure to abide by the outcome of the negotiated settlement arrived at through the mediation process it willingly instigated and subscribed to, after reaching agreement with NIMASA on its outstanding debt and paying US$20 million out of it and its continued flagrant disregard for Nigerian laws.”
In an e-mailed press release sent to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, Osamgbi said: “Contrary to NLNG’s position, NIMASA is not aware of any court order against it or any suit brought by NLNG against NIMASA.
“By its action, the NLNG has trivialised the mediation process and the position of the Federal Government of Nigeria whose Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation owns and holds 49 per cent of the shares in NLNG and which endorsed the agreement reached that NLNG should pay its taxes/levies and observe all its obligations under the laws of Nigeria in which it is operating.”