Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday disclosed that it has proposed to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) new measures that could help reduce the loses it incur on imported petrol.
A statement from the corporation in Abuja explained that it had proposed to the NPA to establish a one-stop-shop at the ports in the country with all agencies relevant to the clearing of petroleum products vessels to reduce delay and demurrage which it explained usually result in under-recovery for it.
The statement was sent to THISDAY by NNPC’s Group General Manager, Public Affairs. Mr. Ndu Ughamadu. In it, he noted that the corporation’s Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, had a meeting with the Managing Director of NPA, Hajia Hadiza Bala Usman, where both agencies expressed readiness to ensure seamless reception of petroleum products in ports in the country.
Baru, the statement quoted, said the creation of a one-stop clearing shop at the ports would introduce efficiency in the maritime operations of NNPC.
He also said the NNPC would relocate pipelines along the Escravos channel to pave the way for the dredging of the channel for ease of movement of ships to the Warri Port.
“Because of the sheer number of the pipelines and the criticality of some of the petroleum products they carry, we are looking at the timelines that would span 12 months to relocate some of the pipelines. In some of the critical areas, we have agreed that because of supply situations, they would do an initial dredging that would give us at least 10 metres, especially in the Escravos areas,” said Baru.
He commended the NPA for securing the approval of the Federal Executive Council for the dredging of the Escravos channel, adding that the feat would go a long way to lift economic activities in the area.
Baru said Usman extended some good support to the NNPC during the last bout of fuel supply hiccups. He noted that such inter-agency collaboration was needed for the growth of the Nigerian economy.
According to him: “The test point for the support of the NPA to NNPC was between December 2017 and February this year because it was really a trying period during the fuel scarcity and the NPA supported us patriotically prompting our coming out of the crisis and it actually helped the nation as well.
“The MD of NPA was very patriotic, she prioritised ensuring the comfort of the people which, in turn, went a long way in enabling us touched the lives of Nigerians in many positive ways.”
The statement quoted Usman to have said in her response that the interface with the NNPC was to strengthen collaboration with it, especially in the areas of relocation of pipelines at various locations across the operational areas of the NPA.
She said: “We are here to strengthen synergy and collaboration between NPA and NNPC. We are about embarking on dredging activities at Escravos and Ejigbo and there are a lot of pipelines that are buried within that location and so we want to work with NNPC on relocating and burying those pipelines deeper so that NPA can dredge and have a deeper draft for bigger vessels to come to Warri and Lagos to enhance the supply of petroleum products and other larger vessels coming into the country.”