By Kingsley Adeniyi
Despite a claim by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) that it had shut down operations at the facilities of five oil firms, some of the companies are still carrying out their operations, PREMIUM TIMES can report.
Elei Igbogi, the head of the ISPS Code Unit at NIMASA, on Tuesday said the oil facilities were shut down for failure to comply with the provisions of the International Ships and Ports Facility Security (ISPS) code, a comprehensive set of measures to enhance the security of ships and port facilities.
The affected facilities include those belonging to Heyden Petroleum jetty, Index Petroleum jetty, Waziri Jetty operated by Hemsmor Nigeria Limited, NIPCO, and Pinnacle Oil and Gas Petroleum, Warri.
“The Dr Dakuku Peterside-led management of NIMASA is committed to ensuring strict compliance to the provisions of the ISPS Code with the aim of achieving 100 percent implementation so that vessels calling at our ports can be assured of safety,” the Vangaurd newspaper quoted Mr Igbogi, a captain, as saying.
“And to achieve this, every segment of the sector must embrace international best practices in its day to day activities.”
But checks by PREMIUM TIMES showed that normal activities were going on at some of the purportedly affected facilites.
At NIPCO and Heyden oil facilities at Dockyard as well as Waziri jetties in Lagos, tankers were seen moving in and out of the premises.
A senior ecurity officer at NIPCO expressed surprise when told about the shut down by NIMASA, insisting there had been no stoppage of activities at the facility.
The official, who declined to say his name because he was not authorised to speak to the media, said that there had been no difference in their operations between previous days and when the shutdown was purportedly carried out.
At Heyden, a secretary who declined to state his name, was also surprised at questions about whether the facility was sealed at any time during the week.
A security officer at the company: “We are working now, I was not around when they said some people came here but it did not affect our operations.
“As you can see operations are going on here. In fact, I worked yesterday until I was tired,” he added.
When the company’s corporate office at Maryland was contacted, a lady answered the phone and said “there was no shutdown” before hanging up abruptly.
Phone calls to Isichei Osamgbi, NIMASA’s deputy director of public relations, were not answered as at the time of filing this report.