The Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has said that the agency stands to lose substantial revenue as a result of the commencement of operation by Dangote Oil Refinery.
Last week, Dangote Refinery said it had started the production of diesel and aviation fuel. It said the products will be in the market this month once regulatory approvals are received.
As Nigeria’s first privately owned oil refinery, the $19 billion facility, which has a capacity to produce 650,000 barrels per day, is believed to be a game-changer for the country, as it might substantially reduce or end the age long dependence on imported petroleum products.
However, NIMASA Director General Jamoh, while receiving a delegation from Dangote Port operations – the port operating arm of the Dangote Group – in Lagos this week, rued the potential loss of revenue by his agency.
“… the coming on stream of the Dangote Refinery would lead to a drop in NIMASA revenue because ships importing petroleum products would reduce drastically thus reducing the 3% freight levy collected by the agency,” Jamoh told the Dangote delegation that visited the NIMASA headquarters in Apapa, Lagos.
He, however, said that the agency will give the refinery all the necessary support to succeed because Nigeria’s “economic growth and long term benefit to the Nigerian masses is far better than immediate revenue for NIMASA”.
He said NIMASA will work with Dangote Ports Operations to ensure the new refinery does not breach any regulation of the Federal Government as regards wet cargo afreightment.
“Both parties agreed to set up a working committee to address the operational concerns at the refinery within 14 days,” a press statement issued by NIMASA said.
“I suggested a joint committee with membership from NIMASA and Dangote to sit down and look at issues objectively. Our priority is to ensure regulatory implementation does not impede the operations of Dangote Ports and by extension, Dangote Refinery,” Jamoh said.
On his part, the Managing Director of Dangote Ports Operations, Akin Omole, said, “We talked about business being done in a way that there is no obstruction, no delay. In shipping, a day’s delay is a huge cost; we have an average of over $50,000 demurrage on a ship per day, so we want to be sure that these kinds of delay are not experienced. All bottlenecks, hindrances that will cause the delay will be addressed jointly and collaboratively with our team and NIMASA team.”
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