Senate Committee Decries Low Activities at Onne Port

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By Eromosele Abiodun

The Chairman of Senate Committee on Marine Transport, Senator Ahmed Yerima has said that oil and gas businesses will continue to be carried out at the Onne Port Complex.

Yerima gave the assurance when he led the Senate Committee on Marine Transport on a facility tour of Onne Port Complex.

He said: “Following the meetings of stakeholders within the Niger Delta and President Muhammadu Buhari, oil and gas businesses will come here since oil and gas businesses are located in this port (Onne).”

He said the tour was part of the oversight function of the committee, adding that “the main purpose of our visit was to make an assessment of the performances of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), concessionaires, terminal operators and to know their challenges.”

Yerima decried the low activities at the Onne Port Complex which he said was as a result of the current economic situation in the country and the activities of certain port operators who refused to adhere to the terms of the concession agreements.

The chairman, who was elated with the massive investment, high quality and  giant infrastructural development deployed by the port concessionaire, Intels Nigeria Limited, insisted that the Senate Committee would ensure that all revenue accruable to the government account were paid accordingly.

He also said that the committee would ensure that all concessionaires operated within the ambit of their agreements.

The lawmaker observed that some port operators engaged in activities they did not bid for during the port concessioning in 2006, thereby shortchanging the federal government of its accruable revenue from the maritime sector.

The senator also stated that the committee is working assiduously “to look into the concession agreement records to ensure that the proper things are done”.

Welcoming the Senate Committee, the Chief Executive Officer, Intels Nigeria Limited, Mr. Andrew Dawes, stated that the Onne Port is a government facility and should be treated as such.

Earlier in his presentation, Intels Nigeria Limited Assistant General Manager of Operations, Mr. Chibuisi Onyebueke, listed major challenges facing the operations of the company as the diversion of oil and gas cargo to non-government designated terminals, midstream discharge of cargo and flagrant violation of government directives regarding these matters.

According to him, such illegal activities has led to significant revenue losses to the Federal Government of Nigeria.