The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday announced the lifting of the embargo earlier placed on some 113 vessels from engaging in crude oil/gas loading activities in any of the terminals within Nigerian territorial waters.
The NNPC in a statement explained that the lifting of the ban was subject to the receipt of Letters of Comfort from all terminal operators, oil companies and off-takers of Nigerian oil and gas as guarantee that nominated vessels, pending the outcome of detailed investigation, were unencumbered and would not be utilised for any illegal activity whatsoever.
In the statement issued by the Group Managing Director, Group Public Affairs Division, Ohi Alegbe, the corporation noted that in view of the above, the Federal Government had approved the establishment of an inter-agency committee made up of the Department of State Services, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Nigerian Navy, Department of Petroleum Resources, and the NNPC.
It said the committee’s mandate was to collect data and investigate the activities of the banned vessels within Nigerian territorial waters.
“The inter-agency committee will appraise the culpability or otherwise of each of the vessels in the time past and advise appropriately,” the corporation said.
The 113 vessels were banned by the corporation in July this year from engaging in crude oil/gas loading activities in any of the terminals within Nigerian territorial waters.
In another development, the management of the national oil firm disclaimed the use of the name and office of its Group Managing Director, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, by some individuals for fraudulent purposes.
It explained that it had been notified of the activities of some fraudulent persons who go about engaging unsuspecting members of the public, particularly stakeholders in the global oil and gas industry, promising them appointments with the GMD or facilitating procurement contracts and other business deals with the corporation.
It said, “The management of NNPC wishes to state categorically and unequivocally that neither the GMD nor its management has mandated any individual or group of individuals to represent him or any of the corporation’s interests in any transactions outside the official process.
“The general public and stakeholders are hereby advised to ignore anyone or group of persons purporting to represent the NNPC or its GMD in any capacity to facilitate appointments or contracts of any kind. The new NNPC is transparent and follows due process and requires no intermediaries to procure contracts or engage in any business with it. Anyone found to be engaged in such nefarious activities should be treated as an impostor.”
NNPC further warned that the full weight of the law will be brought on anyone caught using the name of the corporation or its chief executive officer for fraudulent purposes.