Illegal petrol vessel seized in Lagos, depot sealed

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’Femi Asu

The Department of Petroleum Resources has announced the seizure of a vessel, MT JAZI, discharging Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) that does not meet the standard specifications for any white product.

The DPR said it observed the product discharge by the vessel at the Nakem Jetty, Kirikiri, Lagos, on February 11, 2017.

It said on Monday that further investigations showed that the vessel did not have the DPR authorisation to deliver products at the depot.

The Zonal Operations Controller, Lagos, DPR, Mr. Wole Akinyosoye, said at a press briefing, “We proceeded immediately to halt the discharge and fiscalise the tanks at the Nakem depot, sequel to which we discovered that the facility was stocking a total of 1.5 million litres of product suspected to be discharged by the vessel.”

He said the Nigerian Navy was subsequently contacted to arrest the vessel, adding, “The vessel is still in the custody of the Navy.”

According to Akinyosoye, the DPR has no record of any product importation by Nakem or any throughput arrangement of the facility with a third party for product storage at the time.

He said the agency subsequently drew samples from the tanks at the facility for laboratory analyses.

“It was confirmed that the product is actually off specification, having failed all the basic parameters, especially in regards to colour, flashpoint and specific gravity. The product being dumped at Nakem does not meet the standard specifications for any white product,” Akinyosoye added.

He stated that the depot had been sealed by the DPR since February 12, 2017 and the product would eventually be evacuated for quarantine by the appropriate government agency.

He said, “The DPR wishes to use this medium to reiterate its position on zero tolerance to illegal activities in the depots and on landing of off-spec products in the facilities. As we have always stressed, depot operators should be reminded that we will not tolerate the landing of products of untraceable sources at the depots.

“The department will continue to assiduously work to guarantee products’ integrity at the depots and forestall the flow of adulterated products into the retail outlets. Depot operators are hereby further reminded of the existing laws permitting vessel berthing and discharge operations between sunrise and sunset only and be guided accordingly.”

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