The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) says it has sealed off the facilities of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) over alleged non-payment of certain statutory levies to the nation’s apex maritime regulatory organ.
Consequently, with the aid of platforms from its private security contractor, Global West Vessel Specialist, has blocked off access to the Bonny Channel, preventing the gas company’s vessels from either leaving or entering the area.
In a press statement, which he issued last Friday, Acting Director, Shipping Development, NIMASA, Capt. Warredi Enisuoh,stated: “Today, at about 11.30hrs, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, using Global West Vessels Specialist platforms blocked off access to the Bonny Channel from the fairway buoy, at the beginning of the Channel, to buoys 17 and 18. By this blockade,all Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) vessels, operating in the area are neither permitted to leave nor enter the area, until all statutory obligations are met.
“This course of action has been forced on the Agency by the NLNG’s disregard and demonstrated unwillingness to abide by the country’s maritime laws especially, sections of the NIMASA Act that mandates payment of levies based on gross freight on exports and imports and the Cabotage Law. Since its inception, the NLNG has cherry-picked our laws. All efforts to get the management to meet its obligations to Nigeria have been treated with impunity.
“While the NLNG is bruited as one of the crown jewels on the nation’s hydrocarbon industry, its habitual violation and the utter contempt for all our laws, is unbecoming of a company of its status.
“For the avoidance of doubt, our action is carefully planned to avoid; loss of lives or damage to property. This ongoing blockade is limited to the NLNG vessels and other vessels lifting gas on its behalf.”
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