The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has lifted the embargo it placed on 113 vessels from engaging in crude oil/gas loading activities within Nigerian territorial waters.
The corporation in a statement Thursday, explained that the lifting of the ban is subject to the receipt of Letters of Comfort from all Terminal Operators, Oil Companies and off-takers of Nigerian oil and gas as guarantee that nominated vessels, pending the outcome of detailed investigation, are unencumbered and would not be utilized for any illegal activity whatsoever.
It also said the Federal Government has approved the establishment of an Inter-Agency Committee made up of the Department of State Services (DSS), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Navy, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the NNPC with the mandate to collect data and investigate the activities of the banned vessels within Nigerian territorial waters.
“The Inter-Agency Committee will appraise the culpability or otherwise of each of the vessels in the time past and advise appropriately”, the NNPC statement said.
It would be recalled that on July 15, the NNPC issued a notice banning the oil vessels from entering Nigerian waters to load crude.
The notice, which was addressed to all terminal operators, followed a directive from President Muhammadu Buhari.